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http://www.oregonlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news/1150340116213190.xml?oregonian?nwg&coll=7

June 15, 2006

Newport - Lincoln County will help pay moorage for fishermen hurt by reduced season

Lincoln County fishermen will get some local help in paying at least one of their bills this year.

Lincoln County commissioners voted Wednesday to offer up to $75,000 to help cover moorage fees for fishermen hurt by the limited salmon season.

"This is a tangible step we can take within our limited resources to show support for these fishermen and their families," said Bob Lindly, the commissioner who proposed the help.

Trollers from central California to northern Oregon are being forced to drastically reduce their catch along a 700-mile stretch of coast so that fishery managers can protect dwindling runs of Klamath River salmon.

Moorage fees average about $1,100 a year, said Commissioner Bill Hall. The money may help about 60 fishermen and will come from the county's share of the proceeds from video lottery games operated by the state.

Officials from other coastal counties said they've already spent that money or didn't have enough to begin with to follow suit. "We're hoping the state and federal government will come up with something," said Lucie LaBonte, chairwoman of the Curry County Board of Commissioners. In Coos Bay, the Port of Coos Bay is offering to defer moorage fees.

Fishermen up and down the coast may also get some help from an unexpected source. Farmers in the Klamath Basin have extended an emergency fund originated in 2001 to help struggling farmers to now help fishermen.

Bob Ransom, a member of the Klamath Relief Fund for Family Commercial Fishermen, said the group has raised about $2,100 so far and is still working out the details on how to distribute the money.

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