Author Topic: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia  (Read 616 times)

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Offline Keel-er

Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« on: February 10, 2017, 08:28:24 AM »
The recent announcement by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to dishonor the agreement with Washington state to move gillnets off of the main Columbia river was a big disappointment for me, and likely the majority of us who salmon fish the Columbia river.  Now our governor issues a letter to the commission giving them until April 3 to get in alignment with her administration's policies, which she further states in her letter are to "honor those commitments" made between the states. I would like to think that her office is responding to a public outcry from the recreational fishing community, as it has been 3 weeks since the commission made the announcement, but am waiting for the political battles to continue on this one.  Just hoping to finally cease the carpet bombing (gill netting) on the main river. 
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Online Croaker Stroker

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 10:43:20 PM »
The link doesn't work. I get "Page Not Found".

« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 10:55:55 PM by Croaker Stroker »
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Offline Yachter Yat

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 06:35:29 AM »
   There are gill nets on a river?..............The Columbia river?  What the hell........... :shrug9:

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Offline Peddler

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 09:37:29 AM »
I sure to heck hope the governor can get this BS straightened-out.

For the commission to cave to the interest of a group of 200 gill-net license holders is crap. We're not even trying to put them out of business, just out of the main stem and into targeted terminal areas.

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Offline StreamFixer

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Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 09:46:34 AM »
Been there since the middle 1930's Yat.  Put in place to compensate for the removal of the fish wheels which were even more efficient in fish removal.

Now there are a couple hundred Gill Net licenses still active, make an average of about $10,000 per year.  They are fatal to anything caught in them.  I have heard rumors the $$$  from the by-catch (mainly white sturgeon) exceeds the salmon income, however, I have no facts to support that allegation.

The nets do not discriminate, wild or hatchery.  They kill them all. 

Recreation fishing folks familiar with the netting results simply do not bother to launch to fish for a couple of days after the nets are allowed on the river for a night.  Unless of course you wish to have a day on the water uninterrupted by having to deal with a pesky fish on your line.

An agreement was in place for the nets to be off the Columbia mainstem this year.  They were still to be allowed in certain 'safe' area.  Research has found the netters make more $$$ from the 'safe' areas than they ever did from the mainstem, but they are all still gnashing their teeth, tearing out their hair and sprinkling themselves with ashes crying unfair and going broke .... 

Our illustrious Governor chose to appoint a Gill Netter lobbyist to the ODFW commissionl board.  We are now seeing the results of that 'wisdom'.

Washington has significantly restricted netting on the mainstem, not quite to the letter of the 2014 agreement.  The Oregon board has chosen to ignore the 2014 agreement, as well as the Washington decision, and continue to allow the practice unabated.  And the result is what Keel-er described.  This is going to be one hell of an enforcement problem if they do not come into alignment.

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Offline finfinn

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 04:04:05 PM »
A gillnet row brewed on river Tana bordering Finland and Norway in the north, eventually running in the ocean in Norway. The atlantic salmon in the river are all wild fish, naturally spawning in the tributaries of the river. The finnish and norwegian regulators had agreed on days for netting, length of nets and so on. The downstream guys did not like the agreements and used longer nets than agreed, also on days when no nets should be in the water. The finns proposed that a warden should be hired and even promised to pay for it. The norwegians said no. So - on random days a few carelessly handled pine logs with poorly removed branches fell from the log transport into the river. The logs obviously did not distinguish between legal and illegal nets and took everything downstream to the ocean. After a few weeks in the peak season the norwegians proposed a meeting and agreed to a warden. Thus was an uneasy peace brought to the river and some salmon made it to the spawning grounds... until the next phase, but that is another story.
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Offline raiduh4life

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 04:02:30 PM »
Washington didn't stick to the agreement either.  Our spineless Commissioners wimped and voted on a compromise - sticking with no kill netting of Spring & Summer run Chinook while allowing the kill nets to go after the Fall Chinook for another couple years.  The original agreement called for a halt to all of the kill netting starting this year and an 80/20 split = 80% sportsmen 20% commercials.  However the same WDFW Commissioners felt that too was too much and therefore reduced the Fall allotment to 75% sportsmen 25% commercials for the next two years as well. 

If anyone thinks Governor Brown's letter or the above compromise is the end or in any way a victory for sportsmen, Think Again.  The fees both states have been collecting that came out of the Kitzhaber agreement will continue to fill the same rabbit hole.  In the meantime, the continued kill netting of fall URB's and the pitting of upriver groups against lower river groups will have us in two years right back to where we've been for the last month.

I've had several conversations with one of the WA commissioners to no avail.  He's just another spineless, gutless, self promoting politician.  Sad.

I went to both the meet & greet and meeting that were held last week at the Portland Sportsmen show.  I got a chance to talk to several of the Oregon chapter CCA bigwigs.  A fair number of them were/are quite willing to accept the aforementioned compromise.  Pffftttt.   Never ceases to amaze how easy it is to divide and conquer the little folks.  Ohwell, sucks to be them - I joined a couple chapters over there as well as one in my neck of the river and will be a continual thorn for the next couple years.

Offline Peddler

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 09:17:30 PM »
Here's something that'll make you scratch your head; 80/20 or 75/25 does NOT mean #'s of fish, it means % of "Impact" on the threatened run on-which the fishery is managed.

Commercials still catch more than 50% of the quota fish, even if restricted to 20% of the impacts. (In the case of Fall Chinook, the managing stock is the lower river Tule.)

Part of your Columbia River license endorsement is reserved to help subsidize gill net license holders if they're unable to realize a sustainable income. NOT ONE DOLLAR has been paid from this reserve fund.  There are fewer than 200 gill net license holders on the Columbia. Fewer than that are actively participating.

I'm not happy with either WA or OR commission in their implementation of the LAW to remove ALL killnets from the main stem THIS YEAR.  WA is closest, but still not where it should-be.

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« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 07:32:22 AM by Peddler »
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Offline Vancouvertechie

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2017, 06:22:14 AM »
I would agree with Peddler that we pay that stupid Columbia river endorsement to remove the killnets.  I think its another mismanagement of funds and the lack of oversight of the People's Republic of Oregon.  When you have biased commissioners on the board, I mean what else is going to happen?  Seriously members who are in the commercial seafood business are going to look after their own regardless of what was agreed upon.


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Offline raiduh4life

Re: Gill(kill)nets on the Columbia
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2017, 11:23:46 AM »
Peddler is correct - that's not %age of catch, it's %age of "impacts".  As for percentage of catch, do a little searching and look how a certain group's  (don't know all the rules for political correctness here) percentage of the total catch has increased of late.

I believe the # of active license holders - those that have been commercially fishing, that was mentioned was 85.