As a Northwest fisherman for the last 30 years, I take exception to The Daily Astorian's support of Columbia River gillnetting. I have friends who are, or have been gillnetters, so believe me, I've heard their side.
The fish in the main channel are all Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed. I’ve seen the result of mesh size selectivity, and it isn't all that selective. The Columbia is the only river still allowing these nets, with good reason. As sportsmen, we’re told that the Columbia River endorsement would go toward removing the nets, and now their use is being expanded for 2019.
It just doesn’t add up. Neither does the newspaper's backing of commercial Columbia River netting. The money brought into the local economy by sports fishing dwarfs that generated by commercial salmon fisheries. I’m very disappointed by The Daily Astorian's stance on this issue.