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 Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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