Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, Measure 81 (2012)
The filed initiative, also known as "Protect Our Salmon Act," would ban Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal persons and allow the use of seine nets instead.
At least three initiative petitions have been filed.
A similar initiative, Initiative 74, was filed for the 2010 ballot. However, as of July 2, 2010, the petition drive deadline, no signatures were filed.
Text of measure
The certified ballot title is:
Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote prohibits commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal Oregon fishers, except in specifically designated off-channel areas located in the lower Columbia River.
Result of "No" Vote: "No" vote retains laws allowing commercial fishing under limited number of permits by Oregon/Washington non-tribal fishers in Columbia River mainstream, up to Bonneville Dam.
Summary: Currently, non-tribal Oregon commercial fishers may catch salmon in Columbia River only with gillnets, only in areas below Bonneville Dam. Current law recognizes Washington gillnet licenses as valid in both Oregon/Washington waters of Columbia River. Measure prohibits commercial gillnet salmon fishing by Oregon non-tribal fishers except in specifically designated areas outside mainstream of lower Columbia River: Youngs Bay, Tongue Point/South Channel, Blind Slough/Knappa Slough; Fish and Wildlife Commission may designate additional areas meeting specified criteria. Measure would not prohibit Washington-permitted gillnet fishers from continuing to commercially fish in Washington waters of Columbia River; allows commission to permit Washington gillnet fishers to "land" fish in designated Oregon areas. Measure does not affect tribal fishing rights or rights to use gillnets. Other provisions.
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."
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.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Oregon signature requirements
In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters are required to collect a minimum of 87,213 valid signatures by July 6, 2012.
- Oregon gillnet fishing initiative returns to the state attorney general for ballot language changes
- Gillnet fishing ban effort resurfaces for Oregon's 2012 ballot
- Oregon Secretary of State,"Initiative 21 summary," retrieved August 9, 2011
- The Daily Astorian,"Gillnet fleet braces to battle latest attack," August 3, 2011
- Oregon Secretary of State,"Initiative 27 ballot title," December 9, 2011
- Coast River Business Journal,"Clatsop County commissioners oppose gillnet ban ballot measure," August 10, 2011