Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to restructure salmon and sturgeon fisheries, including phasing out the use of gillnets by non-tribal fishers in the mainstem lower Columbia River by 2016. In response to Gov. Kitzhaber's proposal, Washington state fishery managers have entered into a joint process with their Oregon counterparts to develop potential alternatives for managing salmon and sturgeon fisheries in the lower Columbia River.
Since early September, the two states have been working to develop a joint plan for phasing out the use of gillnets by non-tribal fishers in the mainstem lower Columbia River by 2016, as initially proposed by Kitzhaber. Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), has stated that the current joint process to restructure fisheries on the Columbia River must:
Include jointly developed conservation objectives; Respect treaty Indian fishing rights and provide for close coordination with tribal fishery managers; Provide for shared hatchery production goals;Contain harvest management objectives for both commercial and recreational fisheries, recognizing their economic importance to both states and ensure the two states continue to have reciprocal regulations and concurrent enforcement authority.
On Novemebr 15th the bi-state group will meet in Seaside at the Best Western Oceanview Resort
Members of a bi-state working group are scheduled to reach agreement later this month on a final plan for consideration by both states' fish and wildlife commissions.
For more information including staff reports go to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/lower_columbia/