Tribes Oppose Oregon Measure to Ban Gillnetting

Sep 7, 2012

Columbia River Indian tribes are opposing a ballot measure that would ban commercial gillnet fishing in Oregon. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

The four tribes are the latest to oppose Oregon Ballot Measure 81. They say a ban on commercial gillnet fishing does little to rebuild salmon populations. Kat Brigham is the chairwoman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. She says the measure just lets one group catch more fish and limits what another group is able to harvest.

Brigham: “It’s re-shifting an allocation, going from gillnetters to sports fishermen. And that’s basically what it is doing.”

The tribes say a ban on gillnets would threaten cooperative efforts to restore sustainable salmon populations.

Three groups that had backed the November ballot measure came out this week as opponents. They said they are now urging a no vote because they like an alternate proposal Gov. John Kitzhaber advanced after Measure 81 got on the ballot.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio