Washington adopts Columbia River salmon fishing reforms

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed here Saturday to implement in 2017 the most sweeping lower Columbia River salmon fishing reforms in decades, including the elimination of gillnets in the main stem of the river during spring and summer. By a 7-2 vote, the commission decided to go ahead with implementation this year of reforms first adopted in early 2013 and phased in during a four-year transition period. Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Commission will address the issue Friday, and there are indications it might not agree with Washington’s position. In a nutshell, the reforms allocate more chinook salmon to sportsmen in the main Columbia and restrict gillnetting to off-channel sites like Youngs Bay, Tongue Point and Blind Slough near Astoria.  The reforms also call for any commercial fishing that remains in the main lower Columbia to be done with live-capture methods — such as purse seines and beach seines — designed to harvest hatchery stocks and release wild fish. Read the story here 08:14