Columbia River Salmon Sales and Cascade Villages: Fort Raines, Washington

Cascade Indians and other Chinookan-speaking peoples once lived in cedar plank homes and tepees in small villages along the Columbia River, all the way from the mouth of the river and upstream to The Dalles. More than a decade before Lewis and Clark visited these villages, a smallpox epidemic hit the Chinook people. Later, in 1856, the U.S. Army wrestled away control of the region from the Cascade Indians, and today’s descendants of the various Chinook people are members of the Warm Springs, Yakama, Grand Ronde and other regional tribes.

Visitors to the Fort Raines area can purchase fresh salmon from tribal fishers, who fish the Columbia River the same way as their ancestors once did. In addition, visitors to this section of the Columbia River can enjoy a 1.5-mile hiking trail that passes a Cascade village site and one of three nearby military forts. Upstream, the Great Cascades was once a prime fishing area featuring a series of spectacular rapids later flooded by the Bonneville Dam in 1937.

Several miles east, Cathlakaheckit, another Cascade village, was excavated then destroyed in 1979 to make way for the Bonneville Dam’s second powerhouse. Excavated items are displayed at the Washington Shore Visitor Complex. Underwater salmon viewing is also featured at the same facility. Fort Cascades is about five miles west of the Bridge of the Gods on Highway 14.

For more information about buying fresh Indian-caught salmon in season, visit the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) website at critfc.org.

The CRITFC mission is to ensure a unified voice in the overall management of the fishery resources, and as managers, to protect reserved treaty rights through the exercise of the inherent sovereign powers of the tribes. The organization includes the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce tribes.

Contact Information

Buck Jones & Jeremy FiveCrows
Reservations and Information:
888.289.1855

Address:
700 Northeast Multnomah Street, Portland, Oregon 97232, United States

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Location

Other Information

  • Hours Open

    Fresh fish sales can occur any day of the week. Best availability is 10 a.m. to dusk (dependent upon supply and weather) Days, times and locations may vary with vendors.
  • Seasons Open

    In most years, the public can purchase fresh premium chinook and steelhead from mid-June through early October directly from tribal fishers. In some years, sales of spring chinook begin in May. In June and July, fresh sockeye are available. In the fall, fall chinook, coho, and tule chinook can be found. Small quantities of shad, walleye and other non-native fish may be available as well. The sale of fresh sturgeon occurs at only limited times throughout the year. The fish is fresh, reasonably priced and can be purchased already cleaned. Direct-to-public sales help Indian fishers support their families and make it possible for them to continue this traditional livelihood. We invite you and your family to be a part of this time-honored Northwest tradition. Visit www.critfc. org/harvest, follow @ColumbiaSalmon on Twitter, or call 1-888-289-1855 for current information.
  • Prices and Fees

    Each fisher is independent; prices are set by fishers. Most sales are cash only.
  • Accessibility

    Most sales locations are easy drive-up.
  • Eco Friendly Notes

    The four Columbia River treaty tribes (Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakama and Warm Springs) carry on their tradition of stewardship for the salmon and the river. The tribes have become leaders and experts at salmon and ecosystem restoration efforts to restore salmon in the streams and rivers throughout the Columbia River Basin. We are among the region’s strongest advocates for changes in Columbia River hydrosystem operations. Whether you buy Columbia River Indian-Caught Salmon directly from a fisher, from the grocery store or order it in a restaurant, you are saying yes to salmon produced and harvested locally from the Columbia River Basin. It is also an environmentally sound choice, as our salmon are sustainably harvested. A certain number of each run are allocated for harvest, while the rest are allowed to return to spawning areas. Columbia River fisheries are carefully managed in a comanagementprocess between the tribes, the states, and the federal government to ensure all fisheries affecting Columbia River stocks are managed on a sustainable basis providing access to harvestable groups of fish while ensuring enough of weaker runs pass through fisheries to assist with overall salmon restoration efforts. Regulations, such as limits on fishing days, location and gear are based upon past fish harvests, migration data and current fish counts. The catch is also monitored and sampled for biological information. As long as fishing regulations are carefully crafted and enforced, we will have salmon in our rivers and on our tables. CRITFC provides the tribes and the region with invaluable biological research, fisheries management, hydrology, and other science to support the protection and restoration of Columbia River Basin salmon, lamprey, and sturgeon. The vision of this goal is to reverse the decline of salmon, lamprey, and sturgeon and rebuild their numbers to full productivity. This work is guided by the holistic principles outlined in Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit (Spirit of the Salmon), the tribal salmon plan that addresses recommended restoration actions in every phase of the salmon’s lifecycle from stream to ocean and back. To learn more about the tribes’ Spirit of the Salmon restoration plan and how you might help, visit plan.critfc.org.
  • Locally or Family Owned Notes

    In 1855, the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Yakama and Warm Springs tribes signed treaties with the United States government to reserve, forever, their right to fish at all of their usual and accustomed places. The rich custom of tribal fishing continues to be essential to the sovereignty, culture and economy of these tribes and to the entire Pacific Northwest.