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MM I agree with your last statement. The netters blindly refuse to net selectively and are demanding a larger piece of the mortality allocation, so they can keep their death curtains in the river. Thus, they have to take it from the sporties. Demanding more springer allocation and presenting a proposal to stop all Columbia Spring Sprotsfishing reinforces my point. One group taking it from another.

Instead of opening their eyes, and working on a way to access their portion of the allocation, they hold on to an outdated fishing method that doesn't work under present day ESA constraints.

By the tone of your opening statement, its obvious you are not on neutral ground and any claim to be doesn't help your cause.
 

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Nuts, huh (Battle of the Bulge)

I for one have not proposed eliminating commercial fishing, but gillnetting has to stop. Gillnetting has had its place in history and needs to be just that, history.

There are really two seperate items that get lumped together with an emotionally charged subject. (Commercial fishing and gillnetting.) I think they are mutually exclusive.

I continue to see this recurring idea brought up by pro-gillnetters that losing the gillnetters means losing commercial fishing and hatchery's. This doesn't make any sense to me. Even without gillnetting, the tribes, trollers and ocean sein-netters are not going anywhere. Also Joe Public doesn't need to worry about not having fish to buy, the other commercial fisherman will provide it. I doubt whether anyone buying coho at Safeway cares if his/her fish came from a gillnetter or troller or purse seiner or.....

One thing that puzzles me, is that the group that has the most to gain from eliminating gillnets are the commercial fisherman themselves. Think about it, by avoiding the ESA mortality allocation problem every year, there would be much more stability in commercial fishery access. No more worrying about how many ESA fish are in the river or when they can go in or need to come out. They would have access to their "share" of the fish, which means more fish caught & sold with fewer unexpected surprises (ie steelhead mortality, sturgeon quota, or ESA salmon mortality.) Unfortunately it is simply the evolution of commercial fishing on the Columbia River, just like mass marking for selective sport fishing.

I am sure the commercial fleet would have rather had there 13,000 fish this spring, but we could have shut down the sportsangling completely and they still would have not been able to harvest that many. They KILL TO MANY WILD FISH!! If I can quote Gary, "really that simple."

How is hatchery funding going to be reduced?

There was an article in the Columbian today (sorry) that stated the states are considering handing control of the Yakima hatchery to the tribes. This because of limited funding for the states, which may force them to close it. The thought process goes like this "the tribes have more influence in getting federal funding than the states, so why not hand over the hatchery to those that can keep it going?" One caveat is that the tribes would need mark all hatchery fish, so that sportsanglers could retain them.

A couple things should be pointed out regarding tribes, whom have the most power in fisheries managment and would certainly not allow hatcheries that they depend on to be closed.
1.) Tribes remain dependant on hatchery fish for commercial harvest, ceremonial and personal consumption.
2.)The tribes believe there is no difference between wild and hatchery.
3.) Tribes are strong proponents of hatchery's.

When I think about the power the tribes have, and the fact other user groups (sporties, commercials), continue to push for fish, I don't feel the hatchery's are in any way in jeopardy without gillnetters.

I am not saying get rid of commercial fishing or even the individuals participating, but gillnetting has to stop.

[ 09-18-2003, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: finclipped ]
 

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At the risk of "giving a little to get a little" why are the non-lethal nets never an option? I just don't get it. Sein nets or purse sein or something of that sort are designed to allow near 0% mortality on non-targeted species. I never hear of changing the gillnetters harvest method and don't understand why :shrug: . The netters would have full access to their "share" if they focused on lowering mortality instead of holding on to gillnets. (Why would they care what kind of net is used as long as they can harvest fish?)

Thats what happened last year in the springer season. It wasn't that they didn't have a fair share, it was that they killed to many ESA salmon as they attempted to harvest their share.

While sporties, practiced catch and release.

(Salmon caught by a sportfisherman has an inherently better chance at survival than one caught in a gillnet.)
 
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