Letter: Ban gill nets in Columbia River

February 25, 2014 

In response to the article in the Feb. 19 Tri-City Herald, "Wild fish runs are still struggling."

As long as people are allowed to gill net everything in the river, wild or hatchery, this problem will persist. What other endangered species are allowed to be decimated by the practice of gill netting only to be sold from the back of a pickup truck?

Gill nets not only kill every salmon and steelhead that swims into them, they are also killing many sturgeon. I have personally seen the Irrigon boat launch with dead small sturgeon dumped out of gill nets. They are left to rot at the boat launch.

If the goal is to have endangered salmon and steelhead survive to reproduce, get rid of the gill nets! There has been plenty of talk about dam removal, shad (a fish small enough to swim through gill nets) is thriving, they swim through the same fish ladders as salmon and steelhead but are not gill netted. No gill net should be allowed in the river -- tribal or otherwise.

JERRY BENNETT, Pasco

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