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United States v. Washington

Citation: 5 ELR 20552
No. No. 74-2414, 520 F.2d 676/(9th Cir., 06/04/1975) Aff'g district court

The state of Washington cannot apply its existing fishing regulations to Indian tribes left free by nineteenth century treaties to fish off their reservations at their traditional fishing places without violating their federal rights. The state can regulate off-reservation fishing by treaty Indians only to the extent necessary for "conservation," defined as the perpetuation of a run or species of fish by allowing a certain annual escapement, but to do so it must show that the conservation objective cannot be attained by restricting citizens other than treaty Indians. Treaty tribes meeting certain qualifying requirements may regulate fishing by their own members free from state intervention. After the annual escapement has been allowed, treaty Indians are entitled to catch up to 50 percent of the available harvest. There must also be an "equitable adjustment" to the harvestable catch to compensate for fish captured enroute and those bound for the traditional grounds but caught in marine waters by domestic fishermen.

Counsel for Defendants-Appellants
Don S. Willner
Suite 1400
One S. W. Columbia
Portland, Ore. 97201

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee United States of America
Eva R. Datz
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Counsel for Intervenors-Plaintiffs Quinalt Tribe of Indians
Charles A. Hobbs
Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker
1735 New York Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006