COLUMBIA RIVER — Ten fishermen are expected to participate in a commercial seine fishery on the Columbia River in August. Unlike last year, however, the wild fish they catch will now directly affect other commercial fishermen on the river.
All fishermen on the river — both sport and commercial — are limited to a certain percentage of wild salmon they are allowed to catch, handle or keep. Last year, the first commercial seine fishery in more than 50 years fished the river but operated under “research impacts” rather than regular commercial impacts. As the seiners landed fish, any wild fish that got mixed into the nets didn’t get deducted from regular commercial impacts.
This year they will.
According to a Non-Indian Columbia River Summer/Fall Fishery Allocation Agreement finalized by the Washington and Oregon Fish and Wildlife Departments in May, purse and beach seiners will be allowed 10 percent of the 30 percent of Lower Columbia River wild impacts allocated to commercial fishermen on the river. Sport fishermen take the remaining 70 percent.
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