Current law allows commercial salmon fishing in the Columbia River only with gillnets and tangle nets. Ballot Measure 81 prohibits the non-tribal commercial use of gillnets and tangle nets to take salmon, steelhead and any other fish in Oregon inland waters, including the Columbia River.
The measure prohibits wholesalers, canners and buyers from buying or receiving salmon, steelhead or any other fish taken with a gillnet or tangle net by non-tribal commercial fishers in Oregon inland waters.
The measure invalidates all Oregon Columbia River commercial gillnet and tangle net permits, and requires the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules that allow persons who currently hold the permits to obtain a permit to use seines or fixed fishing gear to take salmon from the Columbia River for commercial purposes.
The measure requires the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to ensure: that the percentages of the total state, non-tribal Columbia River salmon harvest landed in recreational fisheries are not reduced below 2007 - 2011 averages; that permitted seines or fixed fishing gear minimize mortality to endangered salmon, steelhead and other nontarget species through sorting and live release.
The measure specifies that its provisions do not affect the Columbia River Compact or fishing management agreements between the United States, Indian tribes and states. The measure also specifies that its provisions do not affect any tribal fishing rights, or the use of gillnets or any other fishing gear pursuant to any tribal fishing rights. The measure removes Oregon Columbia River commercial fishers from the Commercial Fishery Permit Board. Currently those fishers have three positions on the board.
Prohibits commercial non-tribal fishing with gillnets in Oregon "inland waters," allows use of seine nets.
Result of "Yes" vote: "Yes" vote changes commercial non-tribal fishing in Oregon "inland waters" (defined) by banning gillnets, adopting other regulatory changes; recreational salmon fishers ensured their recent share.
Result of "No" vote: "No" vote continues current commercial fishing practices, retains laws allowing gillnets, leaves other current regulations in place; continues annual adjustment of recreational salmon harvest share.