In a prelude to what we expect to be a spirited WDFW meeting this Saturday, the ODFW folded under pressure from gillnet advocates and postponed the promised sunsetting of gillnet fisheries in the mainstem of the Columbia River for 2017. This is particularly galling when you realize recreational anglers have kept their end of the bargain — paying CR endorsement fees on licenses intended to specifically fund the transition of commercial gillnet fisheries off this waterway. From the ODFW website:
The endorsement helps fund the transition of non-tribal commercial gill nets out of the mainstem Columbia River into enhanced off-channel areas, freeing up additional salmon and steelhead for sport fishing.
The license fees have been paid, and yet ODFW is breaking it’s bargain on this. This is in no uncertain terms just a handout to the NT gillnet fishermen — and it’s a giveaway being funded by fees specifically raised for the purpose of their transition off the mainstem. Remarkable.
Moving across the river to the north, this sets up an interesting situation for WDFW and the public meeting this Saturday (10:15 AM, all are encouraged to attend!). As a partner with ODFW in the process to transition NT gillnets out of the mainstem, will the DFW be willing to stand up, or will they succumb to the same commercial, gillnet, special interests?
We view this decision as an important litmus test of if the WDFW can be trusted to keep their promises to recreational fishermen. And with a looming request to the legislature for 2017 recreational fee increases — it sure seems like a time to prove how important recreational fishing really is.
Remember, in both states — in addition to paying the bulk of license fees — recreational fishing unquestionably generates the most economic activity of any user group. ODFW’s decision only goes to show how much work we have to do to restore logical and economically intelligent decision making to northwest fisheries management.
That’s fine.Take our money .I’m a Third generation Columbia River fisherman, I remember the days when Grandpa moored his P-14 at Sundial and then Harris sold out to Gresham Sand and gravel and everything just seemed to go downhill from there. Sealuons in the upper river, gillnets running amuck. I’ll just take my new boat and go fish the lakes. Worms are cheaper than herring, but realize this, grassroots movements by a majority that think alike is a powerful thing. Enjoy ruining this beatiful bounty for now, your days are numbered.
Why? I am now convinced we (sports fisherman) should have followed through with our ballot measure totally banning gill nets in the Columbia River and tributaries. But, still the ODFW would have ignored it. I’ll bet 10 to 1, the appointment of the top lobbyist for gillnetters to be a Commissioner just set the table. Talk about corrupt. Where’s the governor? Oh, that’s right, she is totally clueless……
kitz was the one who screwed this all up,shes no better
The Sportfisherman should be on the Endangered species list. Maybe we should not buy our Oregon fishing license and tags for a year and see if that has an effect on ODFWs operation?
Done hunting here and probably fishing. ODF are a bunch of idiots.
Such an idiotic government. Think of the revenue that could be gained by both states of the pumped up hatchery production and turn the big CR into the world class fishery it should be. Well since the broke their promises barbed hooks are coming back right?