Gill Net Restrictions on Lower Columbia Could Enhance All Inland Steelhead Fisheries

Cross your fingers on this one boys. If Washington approves changes in the lower Columbia gill net fisheries, many more steelhead will be allowed to swim upstream and enter a variety of famous waters, including the Deschutes, Klickitat, Grand Ronde, Imnaha, Snake, Clearwater, and Salmon Rivers. Fewer wild fish, likely, would succumb to the nets, too. Good for all things steelhead. Keep an eye on this one:

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting broad-based changes in policies governing salmon and sturgeon fisheries on the lower Columbia River at a public meeting Jan. 11-12 in Olympia.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will meet both days starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Columbia Room of the state Legislative Building, Sid Snyder Ave. N.W.

The new draft policy would establish a new management framework that includes a higher allocation of salmon to the sport fishery, a gradual shift of commercial gillnets to enhanced off-channel areas and development of new selective gears for commercial fisheries on the mainstem Columbia River.

The proposed policy changes for Columbia River fisheries are based on recommendations made by representatives from Washington and Oregon in response to a request by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a new management framework for Columbia River fisheries Dec. 7. READ MORE

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