In November, Oregon voters will decide whether to ban commercial fishing with gillnets on their side of the Columbia River. As an alternative to Oregon Ballot Measure 81, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber asked the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to restructure salmon and sturgeon fisheries, including phasing out the use of gillnets by non-tribal fishers in the mainstem lower Columbia River by 2016.
In response to Gov. Kitzhaber's proposal, Washington state fishery managers have entered into a joint process with their Oregon counterparts to develop potential alternatives for managing salmon and sturgeon fisheries in the lower Columbia River. The Oregon Ballot measure would not directly affect commercial fishers fishing on Washington's side of the river with a Washington permit, but if it is approved by voters it could greatly complicate the joint-management process for fisheries the two states have pursued for nearly a century.
Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), has stated that the current joint process to restructure fisheries on the Columbia River must:
- Include jointly developed conservation objectives;
- Respect treaty Indian fishing rights and provide for close coordination with tribal fishery managers;
- Provide for shared hatchery production goals;
- Contain harvest management objectives for both commercial and recreational fisheries, recognizing their economic importance to both states; and
- Ensure the two states continue to have reciprocal regulations and concurrent enforcement authority.
In separate meetings in early September, the fish and wildlife commissions of Washington and Oregon each appointed three commissioners to participate in joint public meetings about restructuring lower Columbia River fisheries. Each commission also announced plans to appoint citizen representatives to participate in those meetings, scheduled from September through December 2012.
Any potential alternatives developed during this joint process would be considered by both states' Fish and Wildlife Commissions.
Columbia River Fishery Management Policy: Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [101.8 MB]
Department staff will review and discuss the draft Columbia River Fishery Management policy with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to accept public comments on the recommendations during the meeting in Tumwater.
Comfort Inn Conference Center
1620 74th Ave. SW.
Meeting - Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [53.0 MB]
Public Comment - Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [205.4 MB]
Thursday, December 6, 2012 – 1:00 PM
Holiday Inn Portland Airport, Willamette Room
8439 NE Columbia Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97220
- Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [145.9 MB]
Bi-state Workgroup meeting.
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Best Western Ocean View Resort
414 North Prom
Seaside OR 97138
|The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comment on proposed management alternatives during its regular meeting in Olympia.
- Stream MP3 Audio | Download MP3 File [172.8 MB]
Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Airport Embassy Suites, Spruce Room
7900 NE 82nd Ave., Portland, Oregon, 97220
A second joint meeting is scheduled to be held in Portland to further review and refine the proposed management options. Meeting details will be posted here as they become available.
|The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comment on the proposed management alternatives during its regular meeting in Olympia.
The first joint meeting to discuss restructuring lower Columbia River fisheries and develop management alternatives for analysis. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia.
Statements and Communications
Columbia River Joint Staff Reports
Fish and Wildlife Commission Policies