COLUMBIA RIVER — Under a plan by disgraced former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, the beginning of the end of commercial gillnet fishing on the main stem of the Columbia River is little more than a year away, but it’s still not clear if gear banned on the river for decades will ultimately replace gillnets.
Oregon and Washington’s advisory group and fishery managers in both states are waiting for new information to be released that could clarify what the impacts of the proposed replacement gear — beach and purse seines — are on Columbia River salmon.
What that data shows could make a big difference in whether or not seines stick around.
“Overall, they didn’t seem to perform as well as people had hoped [this year],” said Stuart Ellis, of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and chairman of the Washington and Oregon advisory group, the U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee.
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