Oregon allows trollers to
catch a few more salmon
SALEM, Ore. (AP) --
Commercial salmon trollers in Oregon will be
able to catch about 12,000 more chinook
salmon than expected this season if they
fish at the mouths of 10 Oregon rivers.
But that catch would
be only a fraction of the number the
fishermen would normally take, and it could
be expensive to haul them in.
"It's a Band-Aid,"
said Ron Boyce, Oregon's ocean salmon
In a normal season,
the trollers would expect to take hundreds
of thousands of the chinook.
But this season, the
federal government has restricted the salmon
catch along 700 miles of California and
Oregon to protect runs of the Klamath River
The Oregon state
government has followed suit in the waters
it regulates, out to three miles from shore.
Last week, the state
Fish and Wildlife Commission agreed to open
a series of "bubble fisheries" at 10 river
mouths along the coast, allowing trollers to
haul in salmon from up to three miles out.
A bubble fishery
allows regulators to be sure the salmon
caught are returning to an Oregon river
rather than to the Klamath, which empties
along the California coast.
But the action didn't
impress some trollers, who wanted the state
to open all its waters.
"It's a joke," said
Newport troller Kevin Bastien.
The state had already
opened up two of the river mouths to such
bubble fisheries, he said. And bubble
fisheries don't offer enough options,
especially if it means paying more for fuel
to travel to a distant river mouth, where
other fishermen are sure to be crowding the
water, he said.
"I'm not going to move
my boat from Newport to Brookings to maybe
catch two or three fish a day," Bastien
said. "If it was all state waters, that'd be
a different thing. This is no bonus."