ODF&W to ponder Columbia River salmon plan

Irishrover

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This Friday at their Salem headquarters the ODF&W commissioners will be voting on the Columbia River salmon plan aka the Kitzhaber Plan. The plan originally called for the removal of all gillnet operations from the main Columbia River by 2017. That year has arrived and the Commission is balking at removing the gillnets. Washington's' version of ODF&W, on January 14th removed the gillnets for the spring and summer chinook runs but left then in for the fall run up river from the Longview area for 2017 and 2018. I expect Oregon to do likewise. The reasons given are, if the nets go in above Longview the lower Columbia Tule stock will be less likely affected. The seine net system has not worked out as they thought and the mortality rate is high for steelhead and wild fish. Sport fishermen are unable to catch enough fish to keep hatchery fish off the spawning beds. This is one reason the Mitchel act hatcheries on the Columbia are cutting back in some areas on chinook production. I make no claim that these are valid reason. I'm just reporting what I have found out as to why the ODF&W folks are not removing the nets as set out in SB 830.

Some sports folks see this as a real stab in the back. They have been paying the Columbia River Enhancement for several years. They have been shut out of Youngs Bay, and have been required to use barbless hook in the Columbia System since 2013. The pay back was to limit gillnets to the side channels that have been set aside for the gillnet fleet beginning in 2017.

The good news is that the ODF&W Staff have recommended eliminating the Youngs Bay Closure area, that is opening it back up to recreational fishermen. It should be an interesting meeting, and I'm going to step away from my cozy wood stove, head down to Salem and attend. I'll post their decision here after the meeting
 
Wait so basically what they are saying is we will allow gillnets in the Columbia and in repayment for not keeping the promise to help salmon and steelhead populations they will open up young bay for fishing? Doesnt seem very logical
 

Irishrover

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Well no that's not actually it, but I can see how you might think that. In 2013 the Oregon legislature passed SB830. In that legislation a portion dealt with closing off Youngs Bay, but there was a section that said they had to review the closure in three years. That three years is now and the staff at ODF&W felt that the closure didn't have a positive effect. So after the review they said it should be reopened. That is independent of the gillnets in the main stream of the Columbia. The gillnet association has a strong lobby and is well represented on the ODF&W Commission. Sport fishing folks need to let the commissioners know how they feel about the issue. That is why I am going to Salem to testify before the commission. Fish politics is more about politics than logic and science.
 
Oh ok thanks for clarifying, I agree most of the groups that say they are trying to help the fish but get too involved in normal politics because of thrones involved for them. Since their isn't one certain fisherman advocate group that is donating thousands of dollars a year to them we aren't thought of as much
 

rogerdodger

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gfisher2003;n601783 said:
Oh ok thanks for clarifying, I agree most of the groups that say they are trying to help the fish but get too involved in normal politics because of thrones involved for them. Since their isn't one certain fisherman advocate group that is donating thousands of dollars a year to them we aren't thought of as much
I think Oregon CCA is a good group on the sport fishing side of things, here is the link to their FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/CCAOregon/?fref=hovercard
 

Irishrover

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I attended and testified at this 11 hour long ODF&W meeting. I must say that I found the performance of the Commission discussing. It was conducted in an unprofessional manor, and the way some commissioner treated citizen who came to testify was beyond reprehensible. I was ashamed of those commissioners conduct. I will be contacting my state senator, state representative, and the Governors office.

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/ore...rt_river_index
 
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jhop111

Member
Irish,
THANK YOU for attending and testifying . Sad to see the direction it went. The commission is a poor representation of of logic and reasonable understanding of our fisheries to say the least. We both warned of this scenario in 2015, as I recall.
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
ODFW just declared war on all of us -- time to fight back. We just need to get proper funding before the ballot measure goes down, unlike last time.

Time for everyone to join/support the Northwest Steelheaders and/or the CCA.

The "compromise" became "go F yourselves." Kate Brown needs to go -- despite all the protests and sound reasoning against, she appointed Buckmaster anyway.

It's not just about us sporties catching more fish -- it's about salmon recovery.
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
gfisher2003;n601783 said:
Since their isn't one certain fisherman advocate group that is donating thousands of dollars a year to them we aren't thought of as much
Not quite... the major organizations donate tens of thousands of hours of volunteer labor for various projects. I believe they'll be debating whether to threaten withdrawal of that labor as a bargaining chip, which would cripple ODFW. The cons might outweigh the pros on that one.
 

jhop111

Member
A Washington state lawsuit or federal reprisal wouldn't surprise me. The number of people who wont buy as many tags will also have an effect. If I was a billionaire I'd personally set up a fund to encourage people whom fish the columbia to purchase a Washington licence . This year I purchased only a fishing license, not my regular sportspack.
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
Here's the latest from ANWS in my email:

BETRAYED!



We as sport anglers are shocked and outraged at the decision last evening by the ODFW Commission. Led by Governor Brown's appointments, the Commission voted 4-3 to abandon the bi-State Columbia River salmon fishing reform plan and put the interests of a few hundred part-time gillnet operators above over 400,000 of sport anglers.

The ODFW Commission has betrayed us. While we thank commissioners Finley, Bittle and Webber for standing up for the promises made to our community, commissioners Anderson, Buckmaster, Wolley and Akenson all rejected not only the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's reasonable proposal, but also its own staff's recommendation. Instead it has voted behind commercial industry commissioners Buckmaster and Anderson and their agenda to prop up an industry that refuses to evolve.

Compared to the agreement that should have been put in place this year, the Commission's decision is projected by ODFW to result in the loss of 11,489 sport angler trips per year, while increasing commercial fishing revenue by 44.5%. And the Commission voted to continue to exclude sport anglers from Young's Bay to give even more fish the commercial netters.

In addition, for the first time in 99 years, ODFW has decided to abandon working concurrently with Washington in managing fishing on the Columbia River. River management is poised to be thrown into chaos with conflicting rules from both states, bringing confusion to anglers, increased costs to our state police for enforcement, and potential litigation.

Ironically, ODFW's 2017 sport fishing regulations (along with past regulations) on p. 8 state:

"Money from the [Columbia River] endorsement will help fund the transition to eliminate non-tribal commercial gill nets on the lower mainstem Columbia River and provide additional salmon and steelhead for sport fishing."

That's now proven to be a big lie! But they still plan to take your endorsement fee money.

The ODFW Commission has shown it is not a friend of the sport angler and Governor Brown's appointments of Commissioners Anderson and Buckmaster, indicate a Governor and the majority of the commission that is grossly out of touch with a community that funds the bulk of its programs and partners with it to bring its mission forward.

Stay tuned as The Steelheaders are formulating our next steps and organized actions.​





Bob Rees

Executive Director - Association of Northwest Steelheaders
 

hobster

Well-known member
DrTheopolis;n601855 said:
ODFW just declared war on all of us -- time to fight back. We just need to get proper funding before the ballot measure goes down, unlike last time.

Time for everyone to join/support the Northwest Steelheaders and/or the CCA.

The "compromise" became "go F yourselves." Kate Brown needs to go -- despite all the protests and sound reasoning against, she appointed Buckmaster anyway.

It's not just about us sporties catching more fish -- it's about salmon recovery.
I'm with ya Dr.T. There are a lot of VERY angry anglers in this state right now. Many people refusing to buy the "Columbia we steal more of your money to screw you" endorsement fee and even an OR fishing license. I am disgusted by their decision and i believe i read the fee will continue through 2022 (i'm sure they will extend it). I bought mine because i fish the Mac often, i would rather be safe and not get a ticket but i'm not happy about it at all. I could just rant.......... i'm really pissed about this. It's not about the money, it's about salmon recovery like you said. Isn't Oregon the only state in the country that allows gill netting? Why should we pay this fee if it is doing nothing to stop gill netting? AAARRRRGGGHHHHH
Less and less people are buying fishing licenses each year, and this will help? I guess they will just keep raising the fees........
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
Hobster -- your support is appreciated. The instant reaction has been "let's all buy Washington licencses instead." While that may be doable for those of us in proximity to Washington, it's clearly impractical and onerous for our friends who live to the south, such as yourself. The fix for this isn't to alienate non-northern dwellers, for whom it's a big deal to fish the Columbia, whereas us Portland area folk can easily access the river. The rallying cry to defund the ODFW just isn't practical.

What we can do, is write our state representative, and make it clear that if they don't follow SB830 (it's a freaking LAW), that regardless how we feel about any other aspect of their representation, they won't be receiving our vote. We have very little control of the ODFW Commission (obviously, at this point). The other easy thing we can do is tell all of our non-fishing friends and neighbors (who we may or may not hook up with fresh fish on occasion) that this travesty affects them, as well.

Our state government, with its horrible "leaderships," has put the interest of a very few above the interests of 99.9999% of its citizens. Now is not the time to be silent. I'm not big into politics myself, but this issue is too important to sit in silence. Nets have no place in our waterways.
 

Irishrover

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I signed up with CCA. They and NW Steelheaders do a good job of organizing and speaking up for sportsmen's interest. This action was so very wrong and the attitude of the Buckmaster gang was incredible. He in so many words told sports anglers to not show up in Astoria, they were unwanted and in in needed.
 

jhop111

Member
I watched most of the commentaries on periscope. I wonder if afterwards Gov Brown invited them over to watch netflix and chill
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
Irishrover;n601885 said:
I signed up with CCA. They and NW Steelheaders do a good job of organizing and speaking up for sportsmen's interest. This action was so very wrong and the attitude of the Buckmaster gang was incredible. He in so many words told sports anglers to not show up in Astoria, they were unwanted and in in needed.
I'm obviously a Steelheader, but this cataclysmic breech of the law seems to be bringing the ANWS and CCA together even more than before.

I don't think Crooked Kate realizes just how badly she screwed up. She won't be around in 2019.

I'm all for a RICO investigation into Buckmaster and his 3 minions. It sure seems likely there was criminal conduct involved. That seems like the only reasonable explanation for their votes.
 

hobster

Well-known member
Irishrover;n601831 said:
I attended and testified at this 11 hour long ODF&W meeting. I must say that I found the performance of the Commission discussing. It was conducted in an unprofessional manor, and they way some commissioner treated citizen who came to testify was beyond reprehensible. I was ashamed of those commissioners conduct. I will be contacting my state senator, state representative, and the Governors office.

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/bill_monroe/index.ssf/2017/01/oregon_will_defy_joint_fish_ma_1.html#incart_river_index
Good for you!
 

hobster

Well-known member
DrTheopolis;n601876 said:
. I'm not big into politics myself, but this issue is too important to sit in silence. Nets have no place in our waterways.
Politics blah! I'm sick of it (especially now) but I feel like we should all try to make our voices heard on this one. I joined the NW Steelheaders this morning, probably should have long ago.
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
hobster;n601901 said:
I joined the NW Steelheaders this morning, probably should have long ago.
Go to your ext local meeting (I haven't been to one in a while), and you'll meet all kinds of people with similar interests, and you'll find people to fish with. I've been on a group float or two, and for one, it's fun, for another, it makes shuttling really easy.

And they give away schwag at the meetings, and usually have some really cool guest speakers. For people who are new to salmon/steelhead fishing (which isn't Hobster), let it be kown hyou're starting out and trying to learn, and often people will take that as a challenge to get you into fish.
 
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