Gill-netting called off on Columbia River
Lower Columbia River will see no commercial gill-netting on Tuesday as the authority has called it off.
According to the information available Oregon and Washington set aside Tuesdays in March for commercial fishing, but the states decided there will be no commercial gill-netting in the lower river as there were too few salmon -- and too many steelhead. The decision was taken after a telephone conference call Monday afternoon by the states officials. Report states that three gill-net boats test-netted 11 drifts Sunday and caught two chinook and 16 steelhead. One of the chinook and four of the steelhead had unclipped adipose fins, suggesting they were not from a hatchery. Biologists informed that eight spring chinook have crossed Bonneville Dam. A comparable Bonneville Dam count for the same period in 2001, the last major run into the river, was more than 300. John North, a biologist on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Columbia River management team, said it's too soon to get too worried about the low number of fish, although he said, there might be more now.He also noted that only three gill-net boats did the test-netting, and only a small area of the lower Columbia River (below the mouth of the Willamette River) was covered. Despite the decision to not allow gill-netting, the lower river will not open to sportfishing Tuesday.
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