Monday, December 03, 2012
CLATSOP COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TO HOLD RALLY IN SALEM THURSDAY FOR GILLNETTERS
Monday, Dec. 3, 2012
To show support for the local commercial salmon fishing industry, the Clatsop County Commissioners are organizing a rally on the steps of the state capital in Salem, Thursday at 11:30 a.m.
The commissioners are inviting anyone in the salmon gillnet industry and their supporters to attend the event. The state capital building is located at 900 Court St. NE in Salem.
Representatives of Clatsop County and the Salmon For All commercial fishing group are scheduled to meet with Gov. John Kitzhaber prior to the rally.
The commissioners are opposing a proposal from Gov. Kitzhaber that would prohibit gillnet fishing on the mainstem of the Columbia River. Rules implementing the governor’s proposal, which would limit gillnets to off-channel fishing areas in a three-year phased process, are due to be considered by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at a meeting Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7 in Portland. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to take up the rules at a meeting Dec. 14-15 in Olympia.
Gillnetters and supports argue that the plan would threaten the livelihoods of many area fishermen while accomplishing little toward the conservation of protected salmon runs. Commercial gillnetters harvest at least half of their overall catch in the Columbia channel, through a fishery highly regulated by state and federal agencies.
On Nov. 28 the county board of commissioners opened its regular meeting to testimony from gillnetters and supporters regarding the proposed rules. Twenty-four citizens offered input – an audio recording of the testimony is available online at www.co.clatsop.or.us.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will take up the gillnet plan beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at the Holiday Inn-Portland Airport, Willamette Room, 8439 NE Columbia Blvd., Portland. Public testimony will be taken at the meeting. For more information go to www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission.
Released by: Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator