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Opinion
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
 

Letter: Keep Columbia fisheries open

By Brandon Campbell, Vancouver
Published: September 11, 2022, 6:00am

A Tule salmon is a lower Columbia River “native” broodstock, disfavored for table fare and protected by the Endangered Species Act. ODFW and WDFW have had their “hands tied” by catch rates related this stock (yeah, right). One day before the Labor Day weekend, they closed down all salmon fishing on the lower Columbia.

Who holds these entities to account for the recreational families’ plans dashed one day before this holiday weekend in the lower river? Why were the mainly commercial fisheries (guides) in the estuary and ocean allowed to take the entire allotment of fish this season? WDFW opened the estuary to unclipped fishing. They made an intentional decision to let those fishing the mouth and ocean close the entire river before the fish even made it to Cowlitz and Clark. They only closed the Buoy 10 fishery on Aug. 31. Then close all fishing as of Sept. 2 to Bonneville Dam.

ODFW and WDFW either knew, or were not paying attention, that catch rates at the coast were going to close the river. It was the first year in three or four we were proposed to fish the lower river for Labor Day. Thanks WDFW, and those keeping Tule salmon at the mouth.

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