State officials to consider gillnet fishery on Wednesday

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

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Washington and Oregon officials will have a conference call at 1 p.m. Wednesday to consider spring chinook gillnet fishing in the lower Columbia River.

Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said test fishing with two boats is scheduled today and with two boats early Wednesday to sample for chinook abundance and stock composition.

Commercial fishermen have discussed during the winter an early season using 8-inch mesh nets. Gillnetting for spring chinook used to begin about the third week of February back in the late 1970s and 1980s.