This is a Good Example of Why I Have a Dim View of Native Tribes
I know my opinion is not politically correct in this day and age, but when the Colville tribe decides to flex its muscles with fishermen, ticketing them when they don’t have any right to, I get a bit irritated. Here is an article from The Columbian about the ongoing fight between the state of Washington and the Colville tribe over who controls fishing on Lake Roosevelt.
Read through it and let me know if you agree that if the Indian tribes are going to abuse the laws, maybe they should get their special rights taken away and we level the playing field.
Lake Roosevelt anglers continue to be caught in the crossfire of boundary disagreements between the state of Washington and the Colville Confederated Tribes.
According to new wording in the recently published Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, anglers fishing the Sanpoil Arm of Lake Roosevelt are in legal limbo unless they buy both state and tribal fishing licenses.
For the first time, the state regulations pamphlet specifically says a Washington state fishing license is required for non-Indian anglers but “anglers may be checked by tribal enforcement officers for a tribal license.”
“The new wording in the pamphlet simply reflects what we’ve been telling fishermen for years when they call the office for clarification,” said Madonna Luers, WDFW spokeswoman in Spokane.
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officials say a state license is all an angler needs.
Colville Tribal officials contend they have jurisdiction in the Sanpoil arm and that tribal license is required.
When similar disagreement between anglers and tribal officers came to a head in 1994, Joe Cassidy of Davenport, Wash., pursued his arrest by tribal police and by taking the U.S. government to court.
The court ruled in favor of Cassidy, noting the Colville and Spokane tribes do not have authority under the existing U.S. laws to regulate fishing by non-Indians in Lake Roosevelt waters below the elevation of 1,310 feet.
The state stands by the ruling as clear legal backing for jurisdiction and access.
But the Colville Tribe has continued to press legal angles that occasionally frustrate anglers and state Fish and Wildlife officials alike.