What are the rules for buying Salmon from Natives

Question:

What must you have on the receipt from Natives to ensure you are legal if you buy salmon from them? How do you know if they are legal to sell? Is there a limit on how many you can buy? Can you buy native non clipped salmon from them? Can you have salmon you bought with salmon you caught?

Answer:

You need to have a receipt when you buy salmon from tribal members because this is your only way to legally demonstrate the origin of the fish.  With no receipt, we assume the salmon were harvested in the fishery and must be legally recorded on your salmon permit.  The burden of proof is on you - not law enforcement officers, to show the origin of the fish.  Your receipt must show:  date of purchase; number of salmon purchased; size of salmon purchased; and signature/identifying name of whom the fish were purchased. If you are stopped and checked by our law enforcement officers and have bought and Chinook harvested in the sport fishery, that receipt is your proof of how many you caught and how many were bought.

Tribal members can sell salmon whenever their tribal elders open a commercial salmon season.  In Riggins, earlier this year, the Nez Perce tribe posted signs around town letting the public know that the Commercial season was closed and their members could not sell fish.  They have since opened the season and their members can sell fish legally harvested by their members.

They have a harvest quota on wild Chinook.  This is all the more reason to have a receipt.  I would ask them to note the condition of the adipose fin on the receipt if they are selling you a fish with the adipose fin still attached.

There is no limit on the number of salmon you can buy from tribal members.