National Fisherman


Washington and Oregon officials will meet Tuesday to consider reopening sport and commercial fishing for spring chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River.

The Columbia River Compact will begin at 11 a.m. to consider gillnet fishing between Bonneville Dam and the coast. A joint state sport hearing will follow the compact session.

The Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee — a panel of state, tribal and federal biologists — issued its first spring chinook run update on Monday. In December, the committee forecast an upper Columbia run of 141,400 adult spring chinook.

On Monday, the forecast was downgraded to 107,500 upper Columbia spring chinook.

Large buffers were applied to sport and commercial fishing in the lower Columbia in March and April.

Even though the forecast was downsized, there remains about 1,200 spring chinook available for commercial harvest and about 1,400 for the lower Columbia sport fishery, said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Officials of the two states have talked about a commercial fishery on Wednesday. Roler said he doubts the commercial fleet can catch 1,200 fish in a single night.

Read the full story at the Columbian>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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