Lawmakers back gillnetting bill

Lawmakers back gillnetting bill

Oregon lawmakers backed a bill to move commercial gillnet fishers off the Columbia River.

Recreational fishers will find higher prices for licenses to catch salmon and steelhead, along with an exclusion zone at a popular fishing spot near Astoria.

Lawmakers approved a surcharge of up to $9.75 per year to raise money for fisheries enhancement. They also authorized an exclusion zone at the mouth of Youngs Bay, a popular fishing spot near Astoria.

The measure lifts a decades-old ban on seine nets for commercial fishing and allocates $500,000 to mitigate the economic impacts of ending gillnet fishing on the main stem of the Columbia beginning in 2017. It was welcomed by sport-fishing interests and denounced by commercial gillnetters, who have ardently opposed Kitzhaber's effort to get them off the main stem.

Read more at KATU.

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