Commercial gill netting on the Columbia

Nick Clayton

Active Member
I find this whole issue pretty interesting. If you check out other forums sports fishers are pretty torn on this issue. On the surface I am all in support of removing any and all gill nets... However some folks have listed some interesting points.

One big sticking point with some sports anglers regarding the removal of gill nets is that if the bulk of the hatchery fish aren't harvested then hatchery production could essentially be shut down. Since some .orgs are suing the state to death over hatchery fish, the only thing that allows the production of them to continue is the harvest of the bulk of the fish by sport and commercial fishing prior to the hatchery fish being able to cause any potential damage. From what I've read the numbers show that sports fishers simply cannot successfully catch enough of these fish to remove them without the help of the commercial fishery. This seems especially to be the case with the hatchery salmon... As most know how lock jawed many of those fish become in the rivers.

I don't know exactly where I sit on this issue. Honestly I'm not read up enough on all the nuances of this situation to truly have an informed opinion. However it does seem obvious that this isn't quite as simple as just removing nets... Which definitely seems like a good thing on the surface.

From what I understand Ron Garner was against this bill for these reasons.
 

Skip Enge

Uck Uck Uck, bitches
I got confirmation replies from Anne Rivers and the governors office. Rivers took the time to say she entirely agreed.. but then with a last name like Rivers...well it could be quite the irony couldn't it?
 

Jonathan Tachell

Active Member
I find this whole issue pretty interesting. If you check out other forums sports fishers are pretty torn on this issue. On the surface I am all in support of removing any and all gill nets... However some folks have listed some interesting points.

One big sticking point with some sports anglers regarding the removal of gill nets is that if the bulk of the hatchery fish aren't harvested then hatchery production could essentially be shut down. Since some .orgs are suing the state to death over hatchery fish, the only thing that allows the production of them to continue is the harvest of the bulk of the fish by sport and commercial fishing prior to the hatchery fish being able to cause any potential damage. From what I've read the numbers show that sports fishers simply cannot successfully catch enough of these fish to remove them without the help of the commercial fishery. This seems especially to be the case with the hatchery salmon... As most know how lock jawed many of those fish become in the rivers.

I don't know exactly where I sit on this issue. Honestly I'm not read up enough on all the nuances of this situation to truly have an informed opinion. However it does seem obvious that this isn't quite as simple as just removing nets... Which definitely seems like a good thing on the surface.

From what I understand Ron Garner was against this bill for these reasons.
I have heard this same argument as well. Unfortunately it is completely ridiculous! There is no place left for non tribal gillnets in Washington as long as we are supposedly trying to protect ESA listed salmon, steelhead and Orcas. They are a non selective means of fishing once a fish has entered the net.

The whole argument that sport fisherman can't catch enough hatchery fish before they hit the gravel is probably currently true. That being said we have never been more restricted with shorter seasons and closures. It's hard to catch them when you can't fish. Also, the use of fish wheels could be utilized if needed. Increasing limits of hatchery fish for recreational river fisherman where depressed runs do not exist could also help.

The point is there are many possible solutions to the problem. Continuing to allow gill netting over ESA listed runs is not one of them. I am tired of funding the non tribal gillnet fisherman's hobby and means of collecting a Washington state welfare check after they return from making their real money commercial fishing in Alaska. If Washington commercial fisherman want to start paying their fare share for the production, management and conservation of fish, then maybe we can talk.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
I have heard this same argument as well. Unfortunately it is completely ridiculous! There is no place left for non tribal gillnets in Washington as long as we are supposedly trying to protect ESA listed salmon, steelhead and Orcas. They are a non selective means of fishing once a fish has entered the net.

The whole argument that sport fisherman can't catch enough hatchery fish before they hit the gravel is probably currently true. That being said we have never been more restricted with shorter seasons and closures. It's hard to catch them when you can't fish. Also, the use of fish wheels could be utilized if needed. Increasing limits of hatchery fish for recreational river fisherman where depressed runs do not exist could also help.

The point is there are many possible solutions to the problem. Continuing to allow gill netting over ESA listed runs is not one of them. I am tired of funding the non tribal gillnet fisherman's hobby and means of collecting a Washington state welfare check after they return from making their real money commercial fishing in Alaska. If Washington commercial fisherman want to start paying their fare share for the production, management and conservation of fish, then maybe we can talk.
so for the uninformed what's the cost to renew a commercial fishing license ? When I commercial fished I owned many licenses in various areas for different seafood's so I could fish nearly year round both in Alaska ,Washington &Oregon, sometimes I also crew on boats in California at times. Since we are at it do you even have a clue how fish wheels work, they are non selective ,they scoop up what ever swims in their fish basket and dump the fish into a holding bin where they die. a few times a day the owner appears to collect their fish.
 

Shawn Seeger

(aka. wabowhunter)
so for the uninformed what's the cost to renew a commercial fishing license ? When I commercial fished I owned many licenses in various areas for different seafood's so I could fish nearly year round both in Alaska ,Washington &Oregon, sometimes I also crew on boats in California at times. Since we are at it do you even have a clue how fish wheels work, they are non selective ,they scoop up what ever swims in their fish basket and dump the fish into a holding bin where they die. a few times a day the owner appears to collect their fish.
I know the issue of commercial fishing is and it's impact is both factual and emotional. Emotional from the stand point that many have done it and many continue to do it. And this is a lively hood so people get heated about change or stopping. The same thing had happened in many industries, i.e. logging, steel, automotive, aviation, wagon wheel manufacturing. And the emotional part comes from "don't screw with a man's money". But...

Factually, all industries must change and adapt with both times and resources.

Yes, if wheels are used without rules and oversight and not modernized, every fish will die in the catch bins. But if placed at specific location, at specific times, for specific hatchery returns and required to be attended. Then can be very effective and very selective.

Yes, there are other selective methods that are extremely productive, and purse seine fishing is an example. It was proven on the upper Columbia by the Colville Tribe and BPA, just an example.

We have to do something ESA listed fish have to be protected! And gillnets kill everything, kinda like not using lungs for about a half hour.
 

Jonathan Tachell

Active Member
so for the uninformed what's the cost to renew a commercial fishing license ? When I commercial fished I owned many licenses in various areas for different seafood's so I could fish nearly year round both in Alaska ,Washington &Oregon, sometimes I also crew on boats in California at times. Since we are at it do you even have a clue how fish wheels work, they are non selective ,they scoop up what ever swims in their fish basket and dump the fish into a holding bin where they die. a few times a day the owner appears to collect their fish.
I do know how fish wheels work. If they are attended properly fish can be released or kept as they are caught. Weirs are another option. So your saying that washington non tribal gillnetters contribute more to the WDFW than recreational fisherman? If you are buying a new commercial license, which pretty much has to be done from a grandfathered in license holder now yes it is expensive. As it should be. Renewing your yearly commercial license is crazy cheap considering! I have looked into it. I'm glad you have fond memories of commercial fishing but the industry in Washington for salmon and steelhead is all but obsolete as it should be. They dont contribute shit monetarily to the wdfw and state compared to recreational fisherman. Sorry, that is a fact.
 
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bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
I know the issue of commercial fishing is and it's impact is both factual and emotional. Emotional from the stand point that many have done it and many continue to do it. And this is a lively hood so people get heated about change or stopping. The same thing had happened in many industries, i.e. logging, steel, automotive, aviation, wagon wheel manufacturing. And the emotional part comes from "don't screw with a man's money". But...

Factually, all industries must change and adapt with both times and resources.

Yes, if wheels are used without rules and oversight and not modernized, every fish will die in the catch bins. But if placed at specific location, at specific times, for specific hatchery returns and required to be attended. Then can be very effective and very selective.

Yes, there are other selective methods that are extremely productive, and purse seine fishing is an example. It was proven on the upper Columbia by the Colville Tribe and BPA, just an example.

We have to do something ESA listed fish have to be protected! And gillnets kill everything, kinda like not using lungs for about a half hour.
exactly right, just pointing out that 90% of people don't know one gear type from the other & have no concept of how they work, the real outcome is every use group is trying to outlaw the other groups so they can harvest a larger share of the last remaining fish stocks,it's always been politics over who has a right to harvest the resource over whats really best for the fish resource & will continue over time until the last fish is caught
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
I do know how fish wheels work. If they are attended properly fish can be released or kept as they are caught. Weirs are another option. So your saying that washington non tribal gillnetters contribute more to the WDFW than recreational fisherman? If you are buying a new commercial license, which pretty much has to be done from a grandfathered in license holder now yes it is expensive. As it should be. Renewing your yearly commercial license is crazy cheap considering! I have looked into it. I'm glad you have fond memories of commercial fishing but the industry in Washington for salmon and steelhead is all but obsolete as it should be. They dont contribute shit monetarily to the wdfw and state compared to recreational fisherman. Sorry, that is a fact.
no, the fact is your also unwilling to stop exploiting a fish resource because it's your preferred hobby & your unwilling to stop sportfishing to let the run rebuild. it's much easier to point the finger & demand the other guy is the problem ,when in fact your contributing to the demise of migratory fish stocks. I quit fishing them for this very reason.
 

Jonathan Tachell

Active Member
exactly right, just pointing out that 90% of people don't know one gear type from the other & have no concept of how they work, the real outcome is every use group is trying to outlaw the other groups so they can harvest a larger share of the last remaining fish stocks,it's always been politics over who has a right to harvest the resource over whats really best for the fish resource & will continue over time until the last fish is caught
I dont disagree that politics are heavily involved. The west coast commercial fishing lobbyist have kept their trades alive in Washington far to long. Bottom line is the most selective way of fishing by the user group that funds the wdfw and contributes millions to the states economy should come first.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
Mike,
noe one is banning comercial fishing, just using gill nets, adapt to a selective harves or stop fishing. Its really pretty simple.
what other methods are legally used by non treaty commercials other than gill nets ,Tangle nets, & diver nets on the Columbia river. once again it's all about the user groups fighting over who's going to catch the last fish
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
what other methods are legally used by non treaty commercials other than gill nets ,Tangle nets, & diver nets on the Columbia river. once again it's all about the user groups fighting over who's going to catch the last fish

No, its about all other groups fishing selectively except gill netters, there are people using purse seins.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
No, its about all other groups fishing selectively except gill netters, there are people using purse seins.
Nice try , but purse seines or beach seines are not presently legal for non tribal fishers on the Columbia river nor are fish wheels or fish traps. Those selective fishing methods where outlawed many years ago on the Columbia river.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
So now the WA Commission has back tracked on its earlier commitment to permnantly remove gillnets from the Columbia River. And they want to continue the Columbia River endorsement fee ($8.75) that was needed to provide sportfishing monitoring on CR tributaries like the Methow where we haven't had a season for several years - why do they sell CR endorsements in years when there is no sport season to monitor? And they are seeking an increase in fishing license fees while providing ever decreasing sport fishing opportunities - so we can even further subsidize commercial salmon fishing! This thing's nuts!
Don’t buy a Columbia river endorsement,end the subsidy !
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
Really tired of hearing gillnetters/ex-gillnetters ask us "What about the people who don't fish but want to eat fish?"

Really?

I spend a lot of my own money on going fishing, and there's no guarantee I'm bringing home food. Indeed, I probably only catch a harvestable fish 1 trip in 10. Yet, somehow, the non-fishing public is entitled to salmon at market price whenever they get the whim? We don't sell elk and deer meat at grocery stores. Why is that? I would argue they're not any worse off than salmon in terms of historical abundance.

Finally, isn't the 50% or more of harvestable fish bound for the Columbia taken in trawl fisheries enough to meet market demand? If not, surely the Tribal fisheries make up that difference, right?

All this said, I think the commercial and recreational fishing in the ocean is what's most unsustainable. At least with gillnets, we fish over fully grown fish in their systems of origin (another way to say it would be we know what stocks we're catching, and each fish will return maximum commercial value due to maximized size). Given the choice of cutting out ocean rec fisheries or NT Columbia gillnet fisheries, I sincerely believe my fishing would benefit a lot more from ending the ocean rec fisheries, messed up as that sounds. I have friends who fish the ocean, and I've been fortunate enough to join them a few times. No doubt, it's fun to fish over heavily feeding chromers all day, but too much sorting through unmarked fish, most of which will die after release, gets a little tough on the sensibilities, and I'm sure it's really tough on the fish.
I’ll buy in ,people that don’t fish should not be able to eat salmon in a restaurant, but the same should hold true for other meats sold ( chicken , beef pork and so on if you didn’t raise it you shouldn’t be able to consume it. This would reduce gas from cow farts and so on. People would be forced to raise farm animals on thier apartment balcony ,backyard or go Vegan !
 

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