FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT .............. COLUMBIA MANAGEMENT PLAN AND GILLNETS
I thought this is a good reminder of coming attractions. I do not track the Columbia and I imagine commercials will be pushing hard so this is a heads up for you down the Southern Coast. So from the CCA this flyer.
Reminder! This Saturday, January 23rd starting at 8:00AM, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will be convening at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver (7801 NE Greenwood Dr) to receive an update from WDFW staff and public testimony on the historic bi-state Columbia River fishery reform plan that was adopted in 2013 (click here to view the agenda).
After years of frustration, this is a historic opportunity to weigh-in with the WDFW Commission right here in Southwest Washington on the continued need for Columbia River fishery reforms! Please show up and wear your CCA gear. Bring a friend or two and support the future of our fisheries.
In the three years since the phased-in gillnet reform plan was adopted, Columbia River recreational fisheries have benefited from an increased priority and we’ve seen reduced gillnetting on several key salmon runs. With the mainstem gillnet ban set to go into effect in 2017, along with a policy priority for recreational fisheries, it is critical that we show up in force and urge the Commission to stay the course on the plan!
The Columbia River gillnet industry will stop at nothing to gut the plan and return to the days of intensive mainstem gillnetting. You can bet they’ll show up at this meeting and that’s why it is so important that we are there to stand up for our fisheries!
The future of Columbia River fisheries are in your hands.
With over a dozen Columbia River salmon and steelhead stocks listed under the endangered species act and white sturgeon populations crashing, we all know that non-selective gillnet fisheries have no place in the Columbia River.
Selective fisheries are critically important in our efforts to recover and protect our wild salmon populations and maintain hatchery production in the face of legal attacks – just last week an anti-hatchery group announced its intent to file a lawsuit against the 62 hatchery programs that receive funding through the Mitchell Act.
We’ve also known how commercial gillnet fisheries constrain the enormous benefits of recreational fisheries, including the superior economic benefits and the tens of millions of dollars in license revenue generated for WDFW. In 2014, recreational fisheries in just the lower Columbia River were worth over $28 million. By comparison, despite harvesting 3x as many fish as the recreational fisheries that year, the ex-vessel value of the non-tribal gillnet fleet was a little over $6 million.
There is a strong, growing demand for recreational fisheries up and down the Columbia. It is no surprise that 225,000 anglers purchase the required Columbia River basin salmon and steelhead endorsement in addition to their regular license annually – this generates $1.6 million in endorsement revenue for WDFW.
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Posted on Wed, January 20, 2016
by Dave Hamilton