Wahkiakum County commissioners plan to hold a meeting next week in Rosburg to gather public input on the potential effects of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber's plan to move gillnetting out of the main channels of the Columbia River.
Kitzhaber's plan would move gilletting into side channels called select areas where hatchery fish are conditioned to return. The plan would give priority on allocations of salmon to recreational fishers, and it would allow commercial fishing with new methods such as beach and purse seines that provide better release of wild fish than do gillnets.
Members of the commercial fishing industry fear the move will make it economically unfeasible for their industry to continue.
Commission Chair Dan Cothren, who asked for the meeting, said he wants to gather public input to present to the fish and wildlife commissions of Oregon and Washington before they adopt the Kitzhaber plan.
The meeting will be at 6 p.m. on December 11 at the Grays River Valley Center, Rosburg.
In Oregon, Clatsop County Commissioners are organizing a rally on the steps of the state capital in Salem, today (Thursday) at 11:30 a.m., to
show support for local commercial salmon fishing industry.
According to a news release, Clatsop commissioners are inviting anyone in the salmon gillnet industry and their supporters to attend the event. The state capital building is located at 900 Court St. NE in Salem.
Representatives of Clatsop County and the Salmon For All commercial fishing group are scheduled to meet with Gov. Kitzhaber prior to the rally. Clatsop commissioners oppose the proposal.