Environment | Law

Oregon won't pursue charges against Yakama Nation fishermen

Patrick Luke, a member of the Yakama Nation, displays a lamprey he caught. Photo from Facebook

The state of Oregon has dropped charges against members of the Yakama Nation who were accused of illegal fishing.

Lightening Paul and Patrick Luke were cited for fishing lamprey out of season. They said they were exercising their right to fish at "all usual and accustomed places" under an 1855 treaty.

The state disputes the claim but officials decided not to pursue the case against Paul and Luke, The Oregonian reported. Two other fishermen, who aren't tribal members, were also cited and paid fines.

"I've been doing this since I was a kid," Luke told the paper, referring to his fishing practices.

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Latest fishing clash between Oregon, Native American tribes is dispute dismissed (The Oregonian 8/7)