Letter: Advantage given gillnetters, again



It’s unbelievable how Washington State Fish and Wildlife, led by Guy Norman, regional director, and Cindy LeFluer, fisheries manager, can continually force their personal will against the sports fishermen along the Columbia River in favor of the lobbyist-powered commercial fishermen.

A season had been set about a month ago for the sports and commercial fishing. Sports fishing from the mouth to Beacon Rock was to open March 1 through April 5 with the exception that the commercial gillnetters could string their nets across the Columbia from the same boundaries on the dates of March 20, 27 and April 3. LeFluer announced last week that they are now considering letting the gillnetters have earlier dates to fish on top of what has already been set.

Gillnetters literally strip the river of the migrating spring salmon and sturgeon that just happen to be in the way of the nets.

It takes approximately 10 days for a salmon entering the mouth to reach Vancouver and now the nets are scheduled to go in every seven days — what does that leave for the sportsmen?

We are the ones buying the licenses, the fishing tackle, food, gas, etc., that goes back into our community. What do the gillnetters put back into our community?

This is wrong.

Roger Burton