No, I do not like the new fee. I don't like what it's going to support. I don't like creating what is essentially a welfare fishery for a bunch of part-time gillnetters. Frankly, I want to see a ban on all commercial harvest in the rivers and bays. I have no problem with commercial fishing in the ocean - leave the bays and rivers to sport fishers. I also want to see a ban on gillnets in all Oregon waters and off-shore areas. Gillnets do not discriminate - they kill everything that gets tangled up in them. Seine nets are much better and allow for the release of wild fish, and for non-target species bycatch.
I would rather see the $10 go to fund retraining and job-finding help for the commercial fishers who actually make their real living at it - not the guys who make it their part time job. I would rather see that additional $10 go to ramping up hatchery plants and fighting the jackwagon groups like the NFS, rather than rolling over and closing hatchery programs and reducing hatchery runs.
I want to see that $10 go toward habitat improvements and protection of critical spawning areas.
It starts with this $10 fee - it will never expire, and will likely go up because they will come and say we need more money.
Should we pay an extra $10 tax each year to provide extra sapling trees to increase lumber harvest for loggers? Should we set aside big areas of public forest and allow logging companies to come in and clear cut them, and sell the timber back to us without getting a serious cut of the money? How about you pay $10 extra each time you want to camp or hike in the forest, and we can provide welfare to loggers with it.
There's already enough business welfare going on - I'm tired of funding everyone else with my taxes and fees because the people in Salem are **** poor at managing everything from our roads to our forests to our fish and everything in between. I'm tired of being told we have to prop up this industry or that, because they can't make it on their own. **** happens. Industries and businesses come and go, they evolve and devolve. I'm sorry that the salmon runs aren't what they were 30, 40, or 50 years ago and that the regulatory bodies have made it difficult to make a living. Adapt. Find a new job. Sorry if your pappy and grand pappy and great grandpappy were fishermen and now you can't be one. Doesn't mean I should be supporting you because you can't find a new job. Economies change. They grow, they contract. They force people out of some jobs. Every generation goes through it, some go through rougher changes than others. This new fee is just one more entitlement program to a small but vocal minority.
This might be the last year I bother buying a salmon/steelhead tag. I haven't landed one in a few years. The fish returns have been late and low, and hatchery plants decreased or axed on some rivers. We get slapped with arguably stupid regulations and fees while commercials and tribals get to rape everything bigger than a smolt. Commercial fishers argue that in the lower columbia, sport anglers are too good at catching fish, so they demanded an exclusionary zone so "their" fish make it back to youngs bay to be netted. At the same time they argue that sporties aren't good enough at catching and killing hatchery fish, so they get a season to put nets in up river to kill all those evil hatchery fish so they don't make it up the river to spawn. Nice double standard.
I would actually be in favor of a 10 year moratorium on all salmon & steelhead angling in Oregon. Stop the hatchery plants, close every river to salmon & steelhead angling. Close them all to bait fishing for other species for that 10 years. Divert the hatchery money into habitat restoration and enhancement projects. Get the logging operations the hell away from the rivers and streams - mandate a 1/4 mile buffer zone from any water body. After 10 years, assess the fisheries and see if they're rebounding, and rebounding to the point of sustaining a limited retention fishery again. If, after 10 years there's not significant improvement to sustain a limited harvest fisher, then we either make the closures permanent, or we restart the hatchery programs and dump in smolt at historical high levels and tell the wild fish only groups to pound sand. That last bit would require serious backbone on the part of the government, so fat chance of that happening.
Or maybe we dump different fish in the rivers and say screw the native fish. I could see a sea run brown trout fishery being popular. Or striped bass. Or carp. Lots of carp. I hear cold, clean water carp are good eaters...
Anything but another entitlement. We are an entitled society, no one wants to give up anything, everyone wants more and more. $10 won't break almost anyone on this board (if it did, your priorities are F'd up and maybe you ought to be looking at cancelling your internet or something until you're in a better position) - but $10 now leads to $20 later. And then they'll come up with yet another fee, to pay for some other program, because they can't manage money for beans and know that most of us will bend over and ask for more, without lube please.
Anyone like paying for their $7 a year "invasive species" permit for your drift boat/pontoon/row boat? Have you seen *any* benefit from it? Does it make any sense to you? All it has done for me is make my wallet lighter. And frankly, until we ban freighters from China and other foreign ports from dumping their bilge water in the Columbia or Willamette rivers I don't want or need some government lacky giving me a hard time about a dirty boat hull. Very few waters in Oregon, and none I fish, are infected with zebra mussels or rock snot. But instead of charging the people responsible for the problems for the mitigation and cleanup programs, they pass the cost along to us. Because we'll bend over and ask for more. Eventually, I look for them to expand the fee to all boats, float tubes, inner tubes (fat chance of most tubers obeying, but hey, then they can set up stings on the Clackamas every summer and write $200 tickets to everyone on a truck tube for not having their $7 permit on them) and wading fishermen.
They tried and failed to ban felt here in Oregon, but they'll try again. Boot makers and retailers will be happy. And hey, it's only $40-200 for a new set of wading boots, right?
Where does this crap end?