Gillnet rules to remain during Oregon court case



The Oregon Court of Appeals has denied a request to put the state’s new Columbia River gillnet fishing rules on hold during a legal challenge.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted this year to ban the use of gillnets to catch fish on the main stem of the Columbia River beginning in 2017, relegating the commercial-fishing tool to side channels.

Commercial fishermen Steve Fick and Jim Wells asked for a motion to stay the new rules during the legal case.

Appellate Court Commissioner James Nass denied the motion Tuesday, saying the fishermen failed to prove irreparable harm.

Gillnets are used by about 200 commercial fishers to catch Columbia salmon. They snag fish by the gills, preventing them from breaking free.

Critics say gillnets indiscriminately catch endangered fish. Gillnetters say they can be selective by carefully choosing the time, location and net size.