Q for the policy wonks

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Klickrolf, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. If Columbia River commercial gillneting is relegated to side channels only, won't the Treaty Tribe gill netters have a right to harvest all the fish the commercial gillneters are forced to forego? If treaty tribes have a right to 50% of the harvestable fish won't they just replace the commercial guys to make sure 50% get taken? I'm not confident this new plan for commercial gillnetting will result in a more selective fishery or a reduction in gillnet bycatch kill.
  2. Bingo, Thats whats about to happen!!!
  3. Isn't that part of the language "lost opportunity" in the Boldt decision? Although in this situation, it seems to be artificially created as opposed to say a natural event that precludes opportunity for catch. On a positive note, I hear the IRS will soon be expanding their responsibility to help with Columbia River fisheries management...I'm excited ;).
  4. Me too, we've seen how good they are!!
  5. Klickrolf,

    Commercial harvests in the Columbia are no longer limited by the harvestable surplus and treaty and non-treaty allocations. Harvest is limited by ESA impact limits, and the various fisheries are allowed to fish until their ESA quota is met. Treaty tribes get the largest ESA quota by far, for example they get 13% of the listed spring chinook, while the non-treaty sport and commercial share 2%. The upshot is that large numbers of harvestable hatchery fish swim on by, causing the problem of too many hatchery fish inter-mixed with wild fish on the spawning grounds.

    Restricting the gillnetters on the LCR to special areas will not eliminate commercial fishing on the mainstem LCR. Purse and beach seines are being allowed, experimentally for now, in the main river where they can harvest more hatchery fish and release unmarked wild fish with a much lower incidental mortality rate than with the gillnets. The fish management design is to harvest more fish commercially, not less. What this means for sportfishing is another topic.

    Treaty fishing between Bonneville and McNary should remain about the same, with the tribal fishery limited by their allowable ESA impacts.


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