Written by Jen Finn
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber's effort to move commercial gillnet fishers off the Columbia River took a big step forward in the final hours of Oregon's legislative session this week.
Recreational fishers will find higher prices for licenses to catch salmon and steelhead, along with an exclusion zone at a popular fishing spot near Astoria.
Lawmakers approved a surcharge of up to $9.75 per year to raise money for fisheries enhancement. They also authorized an exclusion zone at the mouth of Youngs Bay, a popular fishing spot near Astoria.
The measure lifts a decades-old ban on seine nets for commercial fishing and allocates $500,000 to mitigate the economic impacts of ending gillnet fishing on the main stem of the Columbia beginning in 2017. It was welcomed by sport-fishing interests and denounced by commercial gillnetters, who have ardently opposed Kitzhaber's effort to get them off the main stem.
"I think it really is a huge step into this century for fishery management," said Liz Hamilton, director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association.
At Kitzhaber's request, the fish and wildlife commissions in Oregon and Washington voted earlier this year to restrict gillnets to side channels like Youngs Bay and release more hatchery fish in those areas to boost the number of salmon returning.
The measure was approved Sunday in the Senate and Monday in the House, and Kitzhaber is expected to sign it. It directs the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt an exclusion zone at the mouth of Youngs Bay by Feb. 1, 2014. The boundaries are undefined, and the fight over where to set them is likely to be yet another source of tension between the long-feuding commercial and recreational fishers.
The mouth to Youngs Bay is a popular recreational fishing spot known as Buoy 10. The exclusion zone will be reviewed every three years and could be eliminated.
Read the full story at KATU>>
National Fisherman Live: 3/10/15
In this episode, Online Editor Leslie Taylor talks with Mike McLouglin, vice president of Dunlop Industrial and Protective Footwear.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
NMFS announced two changes in regulations that apply to federal fishing permit holders starting Aug. 26.
First, they have eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit “did not fish” reports for the months or weeks when their vessel was not fishing.
Some of the restrictions for upgrading vessels listed on federal fishing permits have also been removed.Read more...
Alaskans will meet with British Columbia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Bill Bennett, when he visits Juneau next week and will ask him to support an international review of mine developments in northwest British Columbia, upstream from Southeast Alaska along the Taku, Stikine and Unuk transboundary rivers.
Some Alaska fishing and environmental groups believe an international review is the best way to develop specific, binding commitments to ensure clean water, salmon, jobs and traditional and customary practices are not harmed by British Columbia mines and that adequate financial assurances are in place up front to cover long-term monitoring and compensation for damages.Read more...