Native American fishing rights

Asked over 6 years ago - Washington

Are native americans exempt from a paying a for a fishing license.?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Craig Edward Kennedy

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    11

    Answered . Generally speaking, the answer is no.

    Just as natives would need a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle on a state or city roadway, native Americans need a license from the state to fish in the state's rivers and streams. If the state has waived the fee or the requirement of a license altogether for a specific tribe, is a matter of state law.

    Where it gets complicated is when these tribe members are fishing on their own reservations which are governed by the authority of their tribes, not the state the reservation happens to be in. And usually members are freely allowed to take fish without a license on their own or a neighboring reservation.

    Even when there are treaty rights to take fish or hunt that are unique to tribal members, often there are still requirements such as notifications to state or federal authorities when members are trying to take game that is protected or endangered.

  2. Matthew Brent Leonhard

    Contributor Level 6

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    8

    Answered . On reservation fishing is based on tribal law. Off reservation fishing, if it is based on reserved treaty rights, does not require a state fishing license. For example, most tribes in Washington and Oregon have the right to fish at all their usual and customary fishing places, which includes fishing sites off reservation. However, a member from a Washington tribe cannot fish without a license in Virginia, for example, because it is not part of their treaty right.

  3. Matthew Brent Leonhard

    Contributor Level 6

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    7

    Answered . On reservation fishing is based on tribal law. Of reservation fishing, if it is based on reserved treaty rights, does not require a state fishing license. For example, most tribes in Washington and Oregon have the right to fish at all their usual and customary fishing places, which includes fishing sites off reservation. However, a member from a Washington tribe cannot fish without a license in Virginia, for example, because it is not part of their treaty right.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

27,486 answers this week

2,934 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,486 answers this week

2,934 attorneys answering