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Farmers, new fishing group to work on water together


 June 1, 2005 by DYLAN DARLING, Herald and News

The Klamath Water Users Association last week signed an agreement to cooperate with a newly formed fishing group that says it represents Pacific Coast commercial fishermen who use hook and line.

In the agreement signed Friday between the water users and the Oregon Trollers Association, the groups say they will support salmon restoration efforts that provide water for both farmers and fishermen.

They also agree to work at providing timely information to each other and educate each other, and to "avoid media statements and public policy positions that fuel conflict between our constituencies," according to a press release issued by the water users.

"The fishermen see that 'finger pointing' is not recovering salmon," said Water Users Association President Steve Kandra in the release.

"Farmers and ranchers have a lot in common with coastal fishermen," said Rayburn "Punch" Guerin, troller association president in the release. "We don't want want to fight each other. We want to get results."

Describing itself as a "marketing and lobbying entity," the trollers association is pursuing ways to add value to hook-and-line seafood products, according to its Web site. In the "About Us" section of the Web site, the group says it wants to form alliances with other groups that depend on natural resources. It also says the group is made up of fishermen from the Pacific Coast.

"Most of our lobbying has been done at the coffee shops in the morning," according to the Web site. "Bitching, complaining, and lots of hand waving after convincing ourselves we were on the right track."

Included in the Web site's gallery of photos, are photos of T-shirts that read: "Our competition is farmed salmon, not our brothers who farm!"

No details about the size or membership of the trollers association was available on its Web site and Guerin could not be reached by the Herald and News.


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