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Tribal fishing scaffolds at Drano Lake a blight for everyone

Members of Yakama Tribe began building fishing platforms along shores of Drano Lake. (Allen Thomas)
Members of Yakama Tribe began building fishing platforms along shores of Drano Lake. (Allen Thomas)

FISHING -- Winds blasting through the Columbia River Gorge in November damaged several of the tribal netting scaffolds built along the shore at Drano Lake, a popular sport-fishing spot, reports the Vancouver Columbian

Among the platforms damaged partially is one of two built this spring at “Social Security Beach,’’ a bank-fishing location on the west side of Drano where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to build an access ramp for disabled sportsmen, reports Allen Thomas.

Tribal platforms started appearing in Drano Lake, a large backwater of the Columbia River at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River in Skamania County, on Memorial Day weekend.

The Fish, Wildlife and Law Enforcement Committee of the Yakama Tribal Council on May 31 authorized platform and hook-and-line gear in Drano Lake, one of several tributaries fished by the Yakama tribe.

Last week, more than a dozen scaffolds, overturned structures, partial or damaged platforms and piles of lumber littered the shores of Drano Lake.

Read on for the rest of the report.

In late August, the Yakama Fish, Wildlife and Law and Order committee voted 3-2 to prohibit tribal scaffolds at Social Security Beach, Thomas reports.

Stapled to the structures at Social Security Beach is the committee’s official order stating, “In respect for the ability of elders and disabled to have an opportunity to fish, the Yakama Nation hereby prohibits the presence of fishing scaffolds within 50 feet of “Social Security Beach’’ on Drano Lake.’’

The official order was attached to the platforms prior to late October. The only action to remove the two platforms, so far, has been by the wind.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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