By Bill Monroe for
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission ripped a hole Friday in the 99-year-old fabric of concurrent fish management on the Columbia River.
With a split 4-3 vote, commission members defied the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s attempt to negotiate the long-contested Columbia River Management Plan. The plan required a switch from gill-netting to selective commercial fishing on the mainstem below Bonneville Dam. It also gave priority allocation of mainstem salmon harvest to sport anglers.
Friday’s vote, however, indefinitely extends gill-netting for fall chinook salmon from Sauvie Island to Bonneville Dam and for summer chinook in the entire lower river.
The plan was intended to take effect in 2017, but Oregon commissioners balked in December, extending the 2016 regulations through 2017, anticipating a January decision.