Wilson River


What were the main differences between Ballot Measure 81 and Governor Kitzhaber’s reform plan?

Measure 81

  • Made gillnets illegal in all Oregon waters (no effect in WA).
  • Legalized seines and other selective commercial fishing gear.
  • No change in management priority for the Lower Columbia River.
  • Would have allowed non-tribal commercial fleet to fish side by side with sport anglers using selective gear.
  • Locked current recreational allocation in statute, but did not shift allocation from commercial to sport anglers. .
  • Language was drafted based on extensive polling, which drove these policy decisions.

The Bi-State Reforms as Proposed by Governor Kitzhaber

  • Designed for adoption by both DFW commissions becoming rule in both states.
  • Changes the management priority of the Lower Columbia River mainstem to “prioritize selective recreational angling” substantially increasing sport allocation of available fish.
  • Focusses commercial harvest in Select Areas where gillnet use will still be allowed.
  • Only allows mainstem commercial fishery with alternative selective gear after recreational fishery goals have been met. Sets hard allocations for fisheries.
  • Increases fish production in select areas, some of which is done by transferring hatchery fish from tributaries. Some of those plantings were in jeopardy of being lost due to lawsuits and non compliance with federal laws.
  • Transitions gillnets off the mainstem during a three year period ending in 2017; however the ODFW Commission voted to extend it till 2019
    Codified by the OR legislature in Senate Bill 830 during 2013 session.
  • Senate Bill 830 establishes a $9.75 fee paid by recreational anglers fishing Columbia Basin waters in OR to help fund the transition of non-tribal commercial gill nets out of the mainstem Columbia River into enhanced off-channel areas, freeing up additional salmon and steelhead for sport fishing. No angler dollars are planned for commercial buyouts, purchase of alternative gear, or other reimbursements to commercial fishermen.
  • Senate Bill 830 deposits money from the endorsement in a Columbia River Fisheries Enhancement Fund to help enhance fisheries, optimize the economic benefits of fisheries and advance native fish conservation. The fee is due to sunset in 2021.
  • Senate Bill 830 also created a separate Columbia River Fisheries Transition Fund to provide financial assistance to individual commercial fishermen affected by the new law – including the potential purchase of alternative gear. This fund received state general funds appropriated by the Legislature and does not use any money from the endorsement fund.