Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, Measure 81 (2012)

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Gillnet Fishing Initiative
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Type:Initiated state statute
Referred by:Citizens
Topic:Animal rights
Status:On the ballot
The Oregon Gillnet Fishing Initiative, Measure 81, is on the November 2012 statewide ballot as an initiated state statute.

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.[1]

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.

The 2012 proposal is supported by the Coastal Conservation Association.[2]

Text of measure

The certified ballot title is:[3]

Restricts Oregon's non-tribal commercial salmon fishers to designated off-channel areas in lower Columbia River

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.


Chief petitioners include Senators Fred Girod and Rod Monroe, as well as David Schamp, chairman of the Oregon Coastal Conservation Association chapter's board of directors.[2]

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."[2]


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.[2]

Clatsop County Commissioners announced their opposition to the proposed measure on August 10, 2011.[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon signature requirements

In order to qualify for the ballot, supporters were required to collect a minimum of 87,213 valid signatures by July 6, 2012.

On Monday, July 2, supporters reportedly submitted 45,000 names to the Oregon Secretary of State, bringing the total submitted at the time to 134,000.[5]

On July 17, 2012, the Secretary of State reported that the measure had been qualified for the ballot with 94,304 valid signatures.[6]

See also

Suggest a link

Related measure

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot Oregon Gillnet Fishing Ban (2010)


External links

Additional reading


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