Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Fishing Methods Hold Promise for Wild Fish

For the last few years the Colville tribe have been working with WDFW testing and implementing commercial fisheries utilizing alternative fishing methods. Rather than the traditional gill net which is non-selective, catching both hatchery fish and threatened wild fish, the tribes have been using seines and tangle nets. The seines benefit both tribal fisherman and wild fish allowing them to sustain high levels of harvest on hatchery populations while releasing all unmarked fish. The tests have proven so successful that this summer the tribes fisheries used only seines. Now commercial fisherman on the Lower Columbia are trying their hand at alternative gear.

A pilot project, again led by WDFW is looking at the feasibility of using various types of seine gear in the lower Columbia commercial fishery. The project is motivated by the fact that lower river commercial fisheries are often limited by bycatch of ESA protected wild fish and an upcoming 2012 Oregon ballot initiative to ban gillnets altogether. More information in the Oregonian:

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/10/tests_on_the_columbia_river_lo.html

and check out this video about the Colville tribal fishery.

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