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ASA joins fight to halt Columbia River gillnetting plan

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The ASA Board of Directors has written to Washington state Governor, Jay Inslee, calling for the rejection of plans to reinstate gillnetting in the Columbia River.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has stepped into the fight to halt plans to reinstate non-tribal commercial gillnetting in a major US waterway that holds significant fish stocks, including 13 endangered species.

The Board of Directors of the representative body for the recreational fishing industry has written a letter to Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, calling on him to reject the plan for the Columbia River, describing the move against the best available fisheries science and commonsense conservation efforts.

It adds: “Wasteful fishing practices, such as gillnetting, pose a threat to the long-term solvency of both commercial and recreational fishing industries alike.”

The letter is signed by members of the Board which includes the heads of some of the world’s top fishing tackle manufacturers. Among those are David Pfeiffer (Shimano), Zack Swanson (Rapala VMC), Jesse Simpkins, (St. Croix) and Dan McDonald (Yakima Bait).

The letter highlights the importance of the recreational fishing industry to the state of Washington, pointing out that one million anglers spend $1.5 billion on their sport each year, supporting 15,208 jobs.

It adds: “Given the importance of the state to businesses across the country, the sport fishing industry is watching closely the recent deliberations about allowing commercial gillnetting in the Columbia River. This highly controversial move would negatively impact fisheries conservation efforts and recreational fisheries from the river’s mouth to the upper Columbia in Eastern Washington.

“We urge you to support ongoing fisheries conservation in the Columbia River, including the protection provided under the Endangered Species Act, by rejecting the Washington Department Fish and Wildlife’s decision on gillnetting in the Columbia River.”

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