Columbia River Alternative Gear Advisory Board

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), is pursuing an emerging commercial fishery designation (RCW 77.65.400) for several gears, specifically pound nets, purse seines, and beach seines. Use of those gears in the lower Columbia commercial fishery is currently prohibited by Washington state laws (RCW 77.50.030); designating an emerging commercial fishery would allow their use. 

WDFW efforts are directed by Policy C-3620, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2013 and revised in September 2020. Alternative gear implementation could provide more tools to harvest hatchery fish, while reducing impacts to wild fish. Increased management flexibility, such as a mixed gear fishery, may support a stable, sustainable future for the commercial fishery.  An important process step for establishing an emerging commercial fishery is the formation of a five-person, director-appointed advisory board to make recommendations on how, when, and where to operate the gear in the newly designated fishery.

Contacts and member info

Members

Guidelines

Contacts

Meeting calendar

Date Location Meeting materials

Virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams

Follow this link to Join the Meeting

Phone number: 360-726-3322

Phone Conference ID: 663 877 5#

Virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams

Virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams

Virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams

Virtual Meeting using Microsoft Teams

Virtual meeting via Skype for Business

WDFW Region 5 Office
5525 S. 11th Street 
Ridgefield, WA 98642

WDFW Region 5 Office, Conference Room 116
5525 S. 11th Street 
Ridgefield, WA 98642

WDFW Region 5 Office, Conference Room 116
5525 S. 11th Street 
Ridgefield, WA 98642

Additional information

Additional Resources 

Columbia River test fishing 

Seine Fishery letter, fall 2016 - This is a letter informing commercial fishers of the structure of the seine fishery in the fall of 2016.

Relevant RCWs and WACs 

RCW 77.50.030 – Current regulations for salmon fishing gear
RCW 77.65.400 – Designation of a fishery as an emerging commercial fishery
RCW 77.70.160 – Issuance of experimental fisher permits for commercial harvest
RCW 77.70.180 - Emerging Commercial Fishery Report to Legislature

WAC 220-360-030 – Formation of Experimental fishery permit advisory board, this advisory board 

Alternative Gear Reports 

Comprehensive Evaluation of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy C-3620, 2013-2017: In November 2018, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff completed a review of Policy C-3620, part of that review included alternative gears. 

Summary and Analysis of Columbia River Harvest Reform Activities 2009-2017: In January 2019, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff completed a review of alternative gears.