Outdoors

Limits on lower Columbia commercial fishing proposed; comments sought

FISHING — A proposed plan to restructure salmon and sturgeon fisheries on the lower Columbia River is available for review on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.

The recommendations, posted today, were developed by a work group of representatives from Washington and Oregon assembled in September at the request of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. The proposals have been forwarded the the Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife commissions.

Key provisions of the proposed plan, “Management Strategies for Columbia River Recreational and Commercial Fisheries: 2013 and Beyond,” listed by the WDFW include:

  • Prioritizing the recreational fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River and commercial fisheries in off-channel areas.
  • Transitioning commercial fisheries remaining in the mainstem to alternative gear, such as beach and purse seines.
  • Phasing out the use of gillnets by non-tribal fishers in the mainstem by 2017, while maintaining the economic viability of the commercial fishery during and after the transition.
  • Shifting a greater portion of current hatchery salmon releases to off-channel areas, and exploring options for expanding those areas for commercial fisheries.
  • Gradually increasing the catch share of salmon for sport fisheries in the mainstem by 2017, including 80 percent for spring chinook and 100 percent for summer chinook.
  • Requiring sport anglers fishing for salmon and steelhead in the mainstem Columbia River and its tributaries to use barbless hooks beginning 2013.
  • Considering catch-and-release only recreational fisheries for white sturgeon in the lower river, Washington’s coast and Puget Sound, to protect lower Columbia River-origin white sturgeon. Closing non-tribal commercial fisheries for white sturgeon in the lower river and coast also would be considered as part of this effort.
  • Reviewing the plan during the transition to ensure objectives are being met. If necessary, changes will be made to meet the established objectives.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to accept public comments on the recommendations at its Dec. 14-15 meeting in Olympia. An agenda for that meeting, when established, will be posted here.

Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to consider the proposal Dec. 7. 




Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


Follow online:


Recent posts


Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801