Gillnet fishery suppliers hurt by uncertainty

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While the Oregon Court of Appeals weighs the case of gillnetters who say they’re being regulated out of business, the shops and stores that supply the fishery say they’ve begun to hurt. The business owners say the gillnetters aren’t so quick to get equipment repaired or replaced, or to pick up and pay for nets they’ve ordered.

Gillnets snag fish by the gills. They’re the main tool for about 500 permit holders on both sides of the Columbia River.

Oregon and Washington have both adopted rules to move gillnetters to tributaries from the main stem of the Columbia, though gillnetters say they can’t make a living on the tributaries.

The appeals court has stayed the rules while it considers the gillnetters’ challenge.