Gillnetters approve, anglers reel at Columbia River salmon policy change

The Daily News

A recent update to the state’s Columbia River salmon management policy to change harvest allocations and allow commercial gillnetting on the main stem has anglers reeling.

Recreational fishers say the change will reduce opportunities for sport fishing, negatively affect conservation efforts and cause incongruity in the rules on a waterway managed by two states.

Though they agree policy differences will arise between Washington and Oregon because of the change, commercial fishers say the rest of the anglers’ fears are blown out of proportion.

“We’ve made a lot of changes over the last 30 years to how we fish in order to adjust to (federal Endangered Species Act) listings, in order to adjust to harvesting the best fish in the river at the best times,” said Robert Sudar, a commercial fishing advisor based in Longview. “It’s a totally different fishery than it was 30 to 40 years ago.”

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