Columbia Gillnet Ban Bill Hearing Today

An Oregon legislative committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would ban gillnetting on the lower Columbia today, a prelude to a possible House floor vote if passed out of Rules.

The hearing on HB 3657, the SAFE for Salmon bill, will be held at 3 p.m. in Hearing Room E on the first floor of the Capitol Building.

The committee will look at several amendments to the bill, including one that would ban gillnetting on the big river between January 1 and July 31, but continue to allow it in off-channel areas near Astoria and another that would study the possibility of another net fishery in the Portland Harbor area.

Sportfishing leaders, who say that is is “immensely hard to get a hearing this time of year,” are urging anglers to attend the hearing.

“This jobs bill will protect and grow jobs in the sportfishing and tourism industry, give better protections to wild fish by eliminating mainstem mixed stock harvest, and protect gillnet jobs by providing commercial markets with approximately 100,000 hatchery fish per year in the SAFE areas,” says an email blast from the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association.

If not passed out of Rules, the bill will die, they say.

For those who can’t attend, NSIA advises contacting their representatives on the committee. They include:

Dave Hunt, Co-Chair  rep.davehunt@state.or.us  503-986-1900
*Andy Olson, Co-Chair   rep.andyolson@state.or.us  503-986-1415
Vicki Berger, Co-Vice Chair  rep.vickiberger@state.or.us  503-986-1420
Paul Holvey, Co-Vice Chair   rep.paulholvey@state.or.us  503-986-1408
*Phil Barnhart   rep.philbarnhart@state.or.us  503-986-1411
*Tim Freeman  rep.timfreeman@state.or.us  503-986-1402
Chris Garrett  rep.chrisgarrett@state.or.us  503-986-1438
Matt Wingard   rep.mattwingard@state.or.us  503-986-1426

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