CF, and others,

Here's a link to that case...

(sorry if you can't link from here, but I'm on a Mac at work and the UBB codes are anything but reliable on this computer)

(EDIT: The quote regarding rights and privileges is near the beginning of the case, look under Sec. 7 of the "Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law")

As you may have guessed, the law regarding right vs. privilege is in the Boldt decision. While I know that many fishermen don't like that case, here's a little background on it.

1. This was not a case written by one biased judge that controls a good majority of sportfishing in Washington. This case spent four years going from J. Boldt's courtroom, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, to the U.S. Supreme Court, and back and forth, until it was reviewed by perhaps as many as twenty-two other federal judges and affirmed almost in its entirety.

2. Because it controls more than just fishing rights, it is also viewed nationwide as a seminal part of our country's civil rights case law, reviewed in law books right next to cases that shot down "separate but equal" cases, public school education cases, and many other cases controlling race related issues in our country.

3. It's not really about how much we like it or agree with it. It is what it is, and must be dealt with.

4. For some reason many (most?) fishermen who don't like tribal fishing argue that the State, or conservation/fishing organizations, are shirking the real issues by not attacking tribal fishing, or doing away with it. Ten times per month on the various BB's someone says that WDFW is slacking because they haven't outlawed tribal fishing.

Here is a legal reality: THEY CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT AT ALL. Period.

Tribal fishing rights are federally protected. The only group that can do anything about it at all is the U.S. Legislature, who has the power to create or overturn federal law. Of course, then it must be signed by the President. No one else can do anything to modify it or stop it.

These were the questions that I was referring to last night about having answers to, not the initial ones because either they were not necessarily on point or they just weren't going to get answered. Here they are:

1. What is the "fact" that established your GGR, other than the "fact" that you have one? (Still haven't heard anything other than "I have it because I have it).

2. Is there something unclear from the cited federal court case? (I'm sure you've already read the case, but now you have it again).

3. Where are those links that I bailed on and started a new one to avoid an argument? (Already got this one, thanks, again.)

Your question about fishing in your own pond is good, but not controlling in this debate.

The reason you can fish whenever, however, and why ever you want in a pond on your property as in your example is that they're your fish. You own them. The state owns the fish and wildlife in our state. Therein lies the rub.

It's the same as why you can't fish whenever and however you want on the Cowlitz River because you have riverfront property. It's not your river, and they're not your fish. State regulations don't apply if they are your fish in your pond.

Fish on...