Gillnet fishing ban effort resurfaces for Oregon's 2012 ballot

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August 9, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam


SALEM, Oregon: An initiative effort, originally filed in 2010, has returned for the 2012 ballot. Initiative 21, also known as "Protect Our Salmon Act," calls for a ban of Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal persons and allow the use of seine nets instead.

Chief petitioners include Senators Fred Girod and Rod Monroe, as well as David Schamp, chairman of the Oregon Coastal Conservation Association (dead link) chapter's board of directors.[1]

Schamp said, "Oregon's failure to protect and enhance our wild salmon runs threatens the state's credibility as a leader in sustainability. Each year, taxpayers, electric utility rate payers and others collectively contribute about $1 billion to recovery efforts, yet wild salmon, an important natural and economic resource for our state, remain on the brink of extinction."[1]

However, opponents argue that the initiative may impact local communities. Spokesperson for Salmon For All Cary Johnson argues that if the Oregon law is changed, it would only apply to Oregon waters. "It would put Oregon fishermen out of business and allow Washington fishermen to continue business as usual," said Johnson.[1]

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