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Photo: Nighttime Gill Netting On The Columbia


Greg Johnson sets 200 fathoms of net across a section of the Columbia River near St. Helens Sunday night.

Greg Johnson sets 200 fathoms of net across a section of the Columbia River near St. Helens Sunday night.

Last night I went fishing for fall chinook salmon with gill netter Greg Johnson. We started as the sun was setting, and I bailed after just two sets. Johnson was planning to fish from 7 pm last night to 7 am this morning.

Johnson estimated this chinook salmon weighs about 32 pounds.

Johnson estimated this chinook salmon weighs about 32 pounds.

The gill net fleet does a lot of its fishing at night mainly to avoid overlapping with sport fisheries.

While I was on board, Johnson caught and kept seven fall chinook and released several sturgeon.

One of the salmon was a jack – a salmon that returns to the river a year early – and another was what Johnson estimated to be a 32-pound upriver bright.

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