Washington Takes Historic Step to Legalize Fish Traps for Sustainable Commercial Fishing on the Columbia

Photo by Wild Fish Conservancy

Washington state is taking a historic step forward to legalized ish traps for sustainable commercial fishing on the Columbia River. This week, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)Director Kelly Susewindofficially announced the agency has begun the process of designating an Emerging Commercial Fisheryfor alternative commercial fishing gear that will legalize fish traps(also known as pound nets). This decision will finally allow commercial fishers who strive to fish sustainably the choice to use contemporary fish traps as an alternative to gill nets in the lower Columbia River.

Photo by Duncan Berry

Why fish traps?

Commonly used commercial fishing methods in today’s salmon fisheries frequently result in the incidental bycatch mortality and harvest of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead. Bycatch mortality is widely
recognized as a major barrier to both wild fish and killer whale recovery, and at the same time threatens the future of fisheries throughout the northwest and the coastal economies that depend on them.

LINK (via: Wild Fish Conservancy)

 

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