Buoy 10 anglers to be hit with $20 parking fee

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Astoria port commissioners voted Tuesday to implement $20 daily parking fees at parts of the west and east mooring basins to capitalize on the August influx of Buoy 10 sports fishermen in the Columbia River.

The Daily Astorian reported that port staff will decide how many spots will be charged and find ways to identify local tenants who do not have to pay.

"I don't know why we didn't get this parking plan done, but we could use the money,'' said Bill Hunsinger, port commissioner, according to the Astorian newspaper.

The paper reported that Steve Fick, owner of Fishhawk Fisheries, estimated on Friday that the port was losing $80,000 in projected revenue by not charging for parking.

Brad Smith, owner of the Astoria Riverwalk Inn, lamented the public was only allowed to comment after a decision had been made, as the first of two comment periods on the agenda was eliminated.

The port has charged $5 a day for parking and trailer storage at the East End Mooring Basin or $60 for one month. There has been no charge for launching, unlike many ports.

Buoy 10 is the name of the popular August sports salmon season between Buoy No. 10 at the river mouth and a boundary 16 miles upstream stretching between Tongue Point in Oregon and Rocky Point in Washington.

Hundreds of boats a day launch from Astoria, Ilwaco, Chinook, Hammond, Warrenton, John Day and Deep River to access the 16 miles of Columbia.

Buoy 10 provides some of the best salmon catches of the year in water normally calm enough to be safe in mid-size boats.

Fishing at Buoy 10 is scheduled to be open daily for chinook and hatchery coho through Sept. 1.