Tribal Government & News

Grand Ronde Tribe, ODFW to enter into shellfish agreement

02.18.2022 Danielle Harrison Tribal government

By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals staff writer

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on Friday, Feb. 18, to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Grand Ronde Tribe that allows Tribal members to harvest shellfish under a special gathering permit rather than a recreational shellfish license in the Trask Hunting Unit and the ocean adjacent to the unit including Tillamook Bay.

Under the new agreement, Tribal members would still follow Oregon sport fishing regulations regarding species, daily bag limits, sizes, harvest methods and seasons.

“Shellfish have always been an important foundation for our lives as Tribal members,” Grand Ronde Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said. “They appear in our traditional stories, nourish our bodies, adorn our regalia and historically served as a currency for our dealings with other Tribes. To be able to return to our fishing grounds and to harvest shellfish under a Tribal permit is something that will support us for generations to come.”

Kennedy, Tribal Council Secretary Michael Langley and Tribal member Andrew Freeman testified before the commission.

Friday’s vote was the final step in the approval process after Tribal Council voted to approve the MOU during its Feb. 9 meeting. The agreement will now be sent to the commission and the Tribe for signatures.