Groups vows to fight Astoria green-line closure

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The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association says reversing the decision to close angling in a small but popular section of the Buoy 10 area at Astoria will be a major focus in 2014.

On Friday, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 3-2 to adopt the Youngs Bay Control Zone, which closes sports fishing from Aug. 1 through Sept. 15 north of the Highway 101 bridge over Youngs Bay and south of a line from the Warrenton Fiber seawall upstream through the green navigation buoys to the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

Senate Bill 830, passed by the Oregon legislature in 2013, directed the commission to create a closure area. It is part of several Columbia River sport and commercial fishing reforms that emerged in 2012.

The closed zone is designed to reduce the interception of fall chinook and coho returning to the Youngs Bay commercial fishery.

“This is punitive and sets a dangerous precedent,’’ said Trey Carskdon, NSIA vice president.

Liz Hamilton, NSIA executive director, called the commission’s decision “a huge blow to the hotels, restaurants, gas stations and tackle and bait shops in Clatsop County.’’

NSIA plans to work during the Oregon legislative season and with the governor’s office to try to reverse the decision, she added.