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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Tribes angling to get authority to middle of Lake Roosevelt

Smallmouth bass caught on Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt (Rich Landers)
Smallmouth bass caught on Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt (Rich Landers)

FISHING -- Here we go again.

A reader called Thursday and said he was told the Colville and Spokane tribes were trying to get authority to govern -- and possibly to require tribal fishing licenses for non-tribal anglers -- out to the middle of the Columbia River along Lake Roosevelt where it borders their reservations.

This would fly in the face of the Cassidy Court Decision that settled this dispute in the 1990s.

Today I've confirmed that the Tribes have been meeting with officials from several federal agencies including the National Park Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Dan Foster, supervisor of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, responded to my query this morning: 

Both the Spokane Tribe of Indians and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have requested a delegation of authority from the Department of Interior to enforce tribal fishing regulations on areas within their reservations included in Lake Roosevelt. The request is under consideration by the department.

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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