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WDFW Meeting on Columbia River Spring & Summer Chinook.

1268 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Chuck S
I made the drive down in the early AM along with a number of others from the greater Puget Sound Area that are concerned with this issue with the Oregon Sportsfishing Public who made their presence noticed also.
I would say for the most part that both sides made their concerns & opinions to the Commision but the most radical/agitated statements came form the gillnet crowd of which one stated that a guide "caught more fish then his Gillnet" :eek: pretty much took the air out of the hook & line crowd in attendance :? . Statements of possible starving children in 2 states with majority elected Liberal Deocratic Legislatures tasked to sensitivity/sympathy concerns is questioned.
We will have to wait for the decision in February but to relax will not be the answer, keep sending the E-mails and letters to our elected rep. in both states.
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Here is a report, repleat with suggestions for sportfisher's action, from Liz Hamilton (head of NSIA):

Just a brief update on the WA Commission meeting held in Vancouver, WA yesterday, and what's next.

It is clear that Change is in the Air.

I have been working on these issues for over 25 years, and I have never seen the sport fishing community as p_ _ _ _ d off, as energized, and together as they were are this meeting! There were over 200 sports anglers there. Of the approx. 50 that testified (what happened to the rest?) they were:

Consistent, accurate and polite. In a word--United.

Particularly powerful testimony was given by Three Rivers Marine and Tackle, from Woodinville, Joes Sports, Outdoor and More, Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor, G. Loomis, Tom Posey Co., Guides, Kevin Newell, Bob Rees and Chris Vertoplous, and many many more. There was no doubt that just these few businesses lost more jobs, and more $$ than the entire commercial fleet. As we are currently conducting fisheries there is a high conservation cost, a high cost in jobs, lost economics to communities throughout the northwest, license sales to the agencies, and the Federal Wallop/Beaux match. The conservation and economic costs of historic management are not standing up to today's values and public scrutiny.

According to WDF&W, 38 Commercial Gillnetters landed Spring Chinook last year. In Oregon, it was 72.

Repeatedly, the WA Commissioners reiterated that the Legislators must be educated by the stakeholders about what is going on. The WA Commission will make their decision on Saturday, Feb. 2nd. After meeting with Stakeholders in his district, Rep. Ed Orcutt showed up, testified strongly in support of his constituents, and stayed for the whole meeting! You can thank him by getting to his web page for contact information.

IF you are concerned about restoring our fish and our fisheries, if you are concerned about selective fisheries, and have not taken the time to communicate with your elected officials, now is the time. If you have already written them, check back. They are busy public servants, with many issues. Keep this one fresh in their minds! If you don't run a sport fishing business, let them know that you sport fish and you vote! THIS IS A BIG ELECTION YEAR! In addition to writing your legislator, remember the Governor's appoint the Commissions. Isn't what's best for conservation, the economy and your heritage worth writing and sending a letter to the Governor and your state Senator and state Representative (2 in WA, 1 Rep. in OR). If you live in WA, here is your contact
information E-mail to Your Legislator in Olympia , your Senator and both Representatives

If you run a business, make sure all of your employees write. If you sport fish, get on your buddies to get involved and quit complaining!

Have you told your Legislator and your Governor?

How important sportfishing is.....

To our Heritage?

To our Environment?

To our Economy?

Have you shared with YOUR Legislator how important a full season is for spring chinook in the Columbia? How the Willamette run has crashed, and conservation dictates that most of the fishing must be above I-5 to protect not only wild fish, but the egg take for the future of the Willamette Basin hatcheries?

Write TODAY. Most important is to tell your legislator who you are, and why the attached information is so very important. Impress upon them that sportsmen need their attention. The OR Fish and Wildlife Commission inform us that they are implementing the will of the Legislature when they shut down sport fisheries to put non selective gill nets in the river on wild fish.

Ask your legislator today to look into this and see if we can get a fair and full season for the sport fishing community.

There will be

1) Less bycatch of wild steelhead and sturgeon
2) Less hatchery fish on the spawning beds. (sport fishing has a much lower mortality rate--10% vs 40%--when we release wild fish, so many more hatchery fish can be utilized.
3) Better for the Economy! It has averaged 9 days fishing to catch one Columbia River Spring Chinook. That fish in a sport creel is worth it's weight in gold!

Here is how you find your Legislators. You are not writing to Congress (i.e. Wyden, Smith, Wu, Hooley, etc.) you are writing to the Senator and Representative elected to go to Salem for you! Let them know what you need. It won't hurt to send a note to the Governor, too! Be focused and be polite. Ask your legislator for attention to how these fisheries are managed.

The Oregon Commission will be taking testimony and making a decision on February 8th at their HQ in Salem. Save the date!
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I couldnt make it but THANKS for going guys (and girls). We need to be heard as the sportsman spends many $$$ here in this state and the commercials are running over us.

I even heard that Big Daddy had all the sportsfishers stand up ... that would have been fun to see Tup:

I will keep writing my letters ... thank you folks for your efforts and atttendance Tup:
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