Anti-gillnet measure expected to make Oregon ballot

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SALEM, Ore. — Initiative 21, a measure aimed at banning gillnets in “inland’’ waters such as the Columbia River, is expected to be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot in Oregon.

The coalition Stop Gillnetting Now says it has submitted more than 105,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State for early verification. To make the ballot, 87,213 valid signatures are required.

The coalition can submit additional signature until July 6.

Andrea Cantu-Schomus of the Oregon Elections Division said on Monday the state’s records show 92,474 signatures were submitted on May 25.

“Our target is between 120,000 and 130,000,’’ said David Schamp of the Coastal Conservation Association in Oregon.

The elections division will verify the signatures.

If approved, the measure would prohibit gillnetting on the lower Columbia by non-Indians. The measure provides for the use of seines as an alternative for commercial fishing.

Tribal, treaty-protected fishing would not change.

About 70 percent of the Columbia River downstream of Longview is in Oregon.