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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the risk of sounding completely ignorant, I am unclear how the state decides how many fish commercial fisherman get to keep v.s sportsman. I am slightly outraged that the nets are in the Columbia for the commercial guys when we, sportsman, are limited to certain days of the week, as well certain stretches of river that we can fish.
My understanding is that these commercial fisherman, fishing for salmon, have a hard time breaking even on this fishery?? Has the state ever considered just buying them out? Would it make more sense from an economic standpoint?
Here is another question. Since the sportsman have been so generous to offer to pay more for the priviledge to fish for these "hatchery raised salmon", do the commercial guys get hit with a license fee increase as well???? Should they??? YES!!!!! It is very clear that they benefit more than you or I. Anybody???
 

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welcome to the columbia river!!.....the ONLY commercialy gillnet river in the united states!!.... arnt we lucky!
 

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Kevin, Welcome to the crowd of perplexed. Even when the Columbia was shut down to sportsmen the gillnetters would have their season. It may have been under the guise of a "sturgeon" season but salmon were incidental. Gillnetters have wisely hung onto their permits over the lean years inh hopes that a turnaround would increase the value of their permits. Buyouts have been discussed over the years also but never really seriously considered.

I have never been able to understand why a certain group of elite people can harvest a public resource that is owned by everyone and pay only a small fee to the state for the privilege.

I have no problem with commercial sale of salmon except for the method used to harvest. Time marches on and the dams have drastically changed the way fish are managed and should also determine how they are harvested. I have heard people on this board actually favor returning to the fishwheel! Why would anyone want to return to the one method responsible for nearly wiping out the runs entirely. The fish can be safely harvested at the ladders with no harm to untagged salmon.

Gillnetting is like buffalo hunting and should be given the same fate. Buy them out, let them harvest their historic "quotas' at the dam or whatever, but give that antiquated method the fate it deserves. I watched Dudley Nelson Sr. and a few other old timers fight the fight years ago at commission hearings with little or no support from the angling community. Commercials used to shout them down and make subtle remarks to them but they hung in, year after year. Hope someday it will change.


[ 04-28-2003, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: Capt. Hook ]
 

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Capt.Hook,

You're absolutely right. When every Columbia chinook salmon (other than lower river Tules) has to go through the fish ladders, it's incomprehensible that gill netting is still allowed.

Capt.Hook said - "Gillnetting is like buffalo hunting".

I disagree slightly with your analogy - gill netting is worse. I would liken it more to the old time punt-gunning and battery-shooting of ducks. Total indiscriminate slaughter.
 

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Kevin this is discussed each and everytime i am out. I for one think there is need for change, drastic change on how this is managed. I know the commercial guys need to make a living, but really, who is spending the money and who benifits?
For starters, i think no netting or fishing until that magical percentage is reached, 2nd, sportfishing brings in more money to each local economy than does the commercial fishing- rods, reels, bait, parking permits, gas, coffee etc, It all adds up-
3rd if the commercial guys dip into OUR fish, then they should pay the price--we do. The price they pay should be a decrease in next years harvest, or grounded all together.. personaly, i think it's crap I bought a lic, and have my season cut to just a couple of weeks, or a few days during the week. I had vacation plans mapped out for specific days, that well, got wasted because I coudn't fish the waters I wanted to, because some outfit took all the fish--
There is a serious need for change on how this fishery is mangaged and who's pulling who's strings.

on the buffalo gillnetting thing, well I'm not sure how that fits in. The buffalo were slautered outright to get rid of the food and clothing source for the tribes back in those days

[ 04-28-2003, 10:46 AM: Message edited by: snowball ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hook, thanks for the message. I completely agree with you on this one. Something should have been done about this years ago! Harvesting at the ladder makes more sense from several standpoints. Much less risk of netting a native fish. The cost of harvesting for the commercial people would be 1/1000th of what it currently cost them to be out there with boats and nets. etc. Fish wheel???? Absurd!!! People we need to be able to hand this, mostly corrupted, system to the next generation and pray that they can do a much better job than we have.
The state should have bought these commercial guys out a long time ago. This method of harvesting is outdated and needs to be stopped!
 

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Originally posted by Capt. Hook:
I have heard people on this board actually favor returning to the fishwheel! Why would anyone want to return to the one method responsible for nearly wiping out the runs entirely.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">CaptHook - Fishwheels might not have been as bad as you think. In their heyday Columbia fishwheels caught about 5% of the total commercial harvest (nets took 95%). The wheels were located in the Gorge area because they require strong current to operate. Fishwheels were banned by the legislature in the 1920s & 1930s due to political pressure brought to bear by then-powerful and influential lower river netters and canners. Fishwheels were portrayed as "unhuman" fishkilling machines by the netters... As if....as if the netters were a benign influence and had nothing to do with wiping out the runs...as early as the 1880s for the summer chinook. :hoboy:

Fishwheels can be hard on oversize sturgeon that become entrained in them...but fishwheels would be a more selective method for salmon harvest than gillnets are. :wink:
 

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The decisions on fish are made through different series of allocation processes. For the Columbia, the process for spring chinook starts in September and finishes in February. Fall chinook seasons are created in the "North of Falcon" process in the spring.
Overall, there is a strong feeling in the air that the commercials are given such good seasons (for their fleet size and poor economics) because of their primary location on the lower columbia. I assess it as a subsidy of those communities, which by any measure, are not in the best of shape. While I see it as potentially nobal gesture, it shortchanges the greater public, as well as the sport license holder--my opinion again.

Tell you what though, I am not for fish wheels of any kind. There is a silver lining in gill nets. Because their mortality is high, they get in and out of the river fairly quickly--leaving a lot of fish behind to add quality to a shortened sport fishery. Go to wheels, and our season will certainly be longer, but the harvest potential of the wheels is enormous--they don't miss many and again we'll pay the price in quality of our fishery.

There are two good options for the future. Keep the nets, but place a sport priority on the fishery---commercial harvest only becomes an option after a secured quality sport fishery. Or #2, buy them out and be done with it. Of the two, a sport priority makes the most sense to me because in years when sport harvest cannot get the hatchery fish out, they should be harvested commercially (high, muddy water, etc). Also, in the case of silver salmon, the sport fishery is unable to harvest fish at a rate neccessary to justify production, hence a commercial harvest makes sense again (once the silvers get past B-10, they don't bite well at all, if you swamp hatcheries, cuts to production are sure to follow)

Overall , I'm not against nets or commercial, I just beleive there needs to be a sport priority. Get top dollar first (sport economics) and then if there is harvest still available, clean-up with commercial (commercial economics)
 

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To add to what Coast lover stated,

ORS 511.070 states that Tillamook Bay can have an open season for chum and incidental take of salmon if the fish and wildlife commission establishes a season.

If you look at ORS 511.506 portions of Coos bay, the Siusilaw and the Umpqua are open to commercial harvest of shad.

But to get back to Kevin's question, your best bet is to talk with someone in the Clackamas office in the Columbia River Management section. They deal with this stuff on a daily basis. I believe the number is 503-657-2000. Get the info from the source.

Clam
 
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