SALEM — Oregon commercial salmon fishermen went to bat for the rights to gillnet on the main stem of the Columbia River. Sport fishermen and conservation groups have proposed Senate Bill 736, which would limit gillnet fishing to bays and estuaries in the lower Columbia region. State Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, was the first at the plate for the opposition.
Attempts to eliminate gillnet fishing are a staple of Oregon politics. There have been two statewide ballot initiatives, the first of which was more than 40 years ago. The last three Oregon Legislatures have considered similar anti-gillnet legislation.