This month ODFW authorized four nights of commercial gillnetting while arbitrarily closing wide swaths of the Columbia River to recreational fishing to protect steelhead - the same fish that will be impacted in the non-selective gillnet fisheries. We need your help to urge Governor Kate Brown and state legislators to hold ODFW accountable for its actions and its continued attempts to undo the bi-state Columbia River gillnet reforms.
Today, CCA released a summary of some of the most egregious recent policy decisions by ODFW and WDFW - from repeated attempts to restore mainstem gillnetting to glaring double standards for ignoring the impacts of non-selective commercial gillnets, including the latest travesty taking place with steelhead. Unfortunately, it will likely only get worse - unless we act.
Last year, the bi-state reform plan was nearly undone by ODFW. Fortunately, Governor Brown weighed in with a letter to the ODFW Commission and the WDFW Commission largely backed the reforms. With recent changes on the WDFW Commission, the Columbia River reforms are now more at risk than ever - even though the plan is largely working.
Progress has been made to phase gillnets out of the mainstem of the Columbia River and limit them to side channel areas where commercial fishermen are enjoying record harvests of hatchery-reared salmon with little impact to wild and endangered fish. Recreational fisheries have also benefitted, and more wild salmon are heading upstream. In addition to massive license fee increases to fund ODFW, recreational anglers have funded the Columbia River reforms through the $10 Columbia River endorsement fee - generating over $7 million since 2014.
The plan will come under attack again when the ODFW and WDFW Commissions jointly meet in Vancouver on November 1. We must act now!
Take just a moment to send a pre-drafted email to Governor Brown and your legislators asking them to hold ODFW accountable for implementing the plan - please personalize the email to increase its effectiveness.
Also, call Governor Brown's office at (503) 378-4582 and request that she again step in to prevent ODFW from abandoning the Columbia River fishery reforms.