Home Archives October 2006 Fishing: Salmon trollers unhappy with state aid payments

Fishing: Salmon trollers unhappy with state aid payments

| Print |  Email
Sunday, October 01, 2006

THE COAST — It’s been a disastrous season for Oregon’s commercial salmon trollers. The National Marine Fisheries earlier this year closed 700 miles of Oregon and California coastline to protect decimated wild runs of Klamath River fall Chinook. What wasn’t protected were the pocketbooks of those who make their living off the salmon. The revenue lost to Oregon and California fishermen has been estimated at $16 million.

So when the state announced it had $500,000 in direct aid for Oregon trollers — hard cash to pay the bills — it was welcome news, even though the amount paled next to the losses being suffered.

But when the checks were handed out in late August, many in the fleet were disappointed and angry. Out of 360 who applied, 283 salmon trollers received checks ranging from $75 to $7,500, depending on the amount of salmon caught either in 2003, 2004 or 2005, and qualified expenses. Most of the trollers were expecting a more equitable distribution of about $1,600 apiece.

“We didn’t gain that much financial relief,” says Jeff Reeves, a Charleston-based fisherman and vice chairman of the Oregon Salmon Commission, which helped set the guidelines for disbursement.

He added that no one expected a big payout. “We weren’t expecting this program to cure us, just to be a leg up.” Most fishermen do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

The Department of Agriculture awarded the funds based on guidelines worked out with the commission. But Reeves, who says he received a $3,300 check, said much of the commission’s input seemed to have been ignored.

“There’s a lot of animosity in the fleet over the discrepancies. Our input got lost in making those decisions,” says Reeves, who hopes the next round of payments goes to those who didn’t get much the first time.

Lauren Henderson, assistant director of the Department of Agriculture, says another $500,000 was requested from the Legislative E-Board in September. He hopes those payments, if approved, can be made to trollers by the end of October, adding that his office will recommend that the already-gathered information from the current applicants be used to speed up decisions on who gets the aid.

“Equitable is in the eyes of the beholder,” he says about the complaints. “This wasn’t for all fishermen, just the salmon fishermen. It was weighted that way. All 283 [who received a check] were different stories, and we read every one of them.”

The first round of funding, which came from the governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund, was meant to be a bridge to federal help. A bipartisan, bi-state coalition won a federal declaration of “fishery failure” in August, which covers the commercial salmon industry in Oregon and California.

— Robin Doussard



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



















 

More Articles

Closing the gap: Community colleges and workforce training

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
03.27.14 thumb collegeBY MARY SPILDE | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Community college career, technical and workforce programs present an opportunity to bring business and education together as never before.


Read more...

On fire

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.” 


Read more...

What I'm reading: Brad Smith & Travis Boersma

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

News
Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Read more...

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS