The Columbia River Fisheries Transition Fund – Money for gillnetters has never been tapped

A fund that was supposed to provide commercial fishermen $1.5 million to adjust to new regulations curtailing gillnetting in the Columbia River has never been tapped. The Columbia River Fisheries Transition Fund, a 2013 creation of the Legislature, was supposed to set aside $500,000 every two years to provide financial assistance to gillnetters through 2019. The money was intended to help fishermen buy replacement gear and offset economic harm due to the expected phasing out of gillnetting in the lower main stem of the Columbia. The money has not been used yet, and after some of it was reverted back to the general fund due to an accounting error at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Legislature is now poised to do away with the last $500,000 installment. That leaves $500,000, a third of the amount initially intended, and it’s not immediately apparent whether gillnetters will end up applying for or receiving the money. click here to read the story 13:42