YOU testified in Salem on Wednesday!
On Wednesday, March 29th, we marched your voice into the annals of the 79th legislative assembly in our state’s capitol. If you were one of the 6,000 angry anglers that signed our petition, you were well represented. Thank you!
To see what we said on your behalf, go here and scroll ahead to the 40:00 minute mark to see the Steelheaders testimony. There were 2 other powerful testimonies as well, with NW Guides and Anglers Association member Rob Bignal at the 1:00 hour mark and Liz Hamilton of NSIA at the 1:08 minute mark. So, where are we at with implementation of the Bi-State Columbia River Reform Plan Agreement?:
- WIN! Consistent with the agreement, gillnets will NOT fish in the mainstem Columbia in the spring or summer for the foreseeable future. There may be a tooth tangle net fishery for spring Chinook after the run size update (that often happens in early May) IF AND ONLY IF there are still impacts left over from the off-channel fisheries that are going on right now.
- WIN! Consistent with the agreement, 80% of the allowable spring and summer Chinook impacts are allocated to sport anglers. That means we’ll have meaningful fisheries this spring and summer! Gillnets won’t be able to target summer Chinook, but the commercial fleet can find other ways of harvesting their share.
- LOST! Contrary to the agreement, if the Oregon commission has its way, we’ll be stuck at a 70/30 allocation for fall Chinook FOREVER! Rural communities – which desperately need tourism dollars — will never see the economic benefits of fully prioritized sport fisheries.. We were promised an 80/20 allocation by 2017. BROKEN PROMISE!
- LOST! The gillnet fleet has yet to develop an alternative method of harvesting abundant fall Chinook from the mainstem. If the Oregon commission has its way, contrary to the agreement, the commercial fleet will be allowed to fish gillnets in the mainstem river FOREVER! BROKEN PROMISE!
- EYEPOKE! The best way to maximize sport fishing economics and opportunity is open up fisheries that can sustain the harvest. The August 1st opener of the Young’s Bay Bubble not only produced great catches of Rogue strain hatchery Chinook, it also kept hatchery fish from spawning with wild fish in our rivers. Too many hatchery fish spawning in the wild jeopardize our hatchery programs, and it makes no sense – including according to ODFW fisheries managers – for the Commission to keep the hatchery fish rich Young’s Bay Bubble OFF LIMITS to the sport fleet. HOW HYPOCRITICAL IS THAT? To top it off, the proposed 2018/2019 budget has $221,000 of our Columbia River endorsement fee dollars going to produce salmon for these off-channel commercial fisheries!
As you can see, OUR WORK IS NOT DONE! We are making progress however, and we have you to thank! We’ll keep up the pressure and continue to work on your behalf.
Please help us keep fighting for sport anglers like you on the Columbia and elsewhere. If you’re a Steelheader member, thank you for adding your name to our list of supporters to implement the Columbia River Reform Plan Agreement. If you are not a member, or know someone that isn’t a member, PLEASE JOIN WITH US because we need everyone’s support.
Please go to our membership page and sign up or give a gift membership to someone that cares!
You can also go to our DONATION PAGE and contribute to our Columbia River campaign. These dollars help fund our activities in Salem and in front of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Rest assured, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR SPORT ANGLERS to uphold the commitments made in the Columbia River Reform Plan Agreement. We want you to get what you paid for, what you sacrificed for, and what you were promised.