The proponents of a ballot measure that would ban gillnet fishing on the Columbia River say they’re dropping their effort and will support a compromise sought by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
A group called Stop Gillnets Now said Monday it will stop work in support of Measure 81, which will still appear on the November ballot. The organization is supported by sport-fishing and environmental groups. The measure would ban the use of gillnets in Oregon.
Kitzhaber’s compromise would ban gillnets on the main stem of the Columbia but allow them on side channels. It still needs the support of the fish and wildlife commissions in Oregon and Washington.
Proponents of the measure said it would protect endangered salmon. Commercial gillnetters say it’s an attempt to put them out of business.