PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals will not put the state's new gillnet fishing rules on hold during a legal challenge.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted earlier this year to ban the use of gillnets to catch fish on the main stem of the Columbia River, relegating the commercial-fishing tool to side channels and tributaries.
Commercial fishermen Steve Fick and Jim Wells, both from Astoria, asked the court to review the validity of the new rules and to delay enforcement until the case is resolved.
Appellate Court Commissioner James Nass on Tuesday denied the motion to postpone the rules in a 22-page opinion. He said the fishermen failed to prove irreparable harm and are unlikely to prevail on most of the legal issues they raised.
"Any potential for harm that might exist can be further reduced by expediting this judicial review," Nass wrote. "Therefore, the court urges the parties to seek an extension of time to file a brief only if it is really necessary."