THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION
As a result of numerous complaints of illegal gillnetting on the Columbia River at the Deschutes River Sanctuary, Oregon State Police in conjunction with Columbia River Inter Tribal Fisheries Enforcement (CRITFE) and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Police conducted nighttime boat patrols to address the illegal gillnetting complaints. The operations were conducted on September 12, 13, 19 & 20, 2018.
As a result of the saturation patrols at least one commercial fishing boat was contacted inside the sanctuary on every night of the four day saturation. During the four day enforcement patrols, numerous contacts were made with the majority of the commercial fisherman being legal and happy to see enforcement.
18-commercial boats were contacted
46-commercial fisherman contacted
3-Commercial boats were located actively gillnetting within the Deschutes River sanctuary
1-Commercial boat was located actively gillnetting within the John Day Dam sanctuary.
5-criminal citations for Fishing Closed Waters; Columbia River Mouth of Deschutes River Sanctuary
2-criminal citations for Fishing Closed Waters; Columbia River Lower John Day Dam Sanctuary
2-warrant arrests, with one of the warrants for; Fail to appear on a Commercial Fishing violation from last year
1-arrest for False Information to police officer
1-arrest for Commercial Fishing without tribal/treaty rights.
5-citations for operating vessels without required navigational lights
8-warnings for No Tribal Identification on Person while exercising commercial fishing treaty rights
2-Illegal gillnets were seized as evidence
Oregon State Police also assisted with safely towing a commercial fishing boat back to the dock after it became disabled.
This was a great effort put forth by the three agencies to help address ongoing issues on the Columbia River.
Fish and Wildlife preservation is crucial to the sustainment and healthy population management efforts to the entire Pacific Northwest. The Oregon State Police, Columbia River Inter Tribal Fisheries Enforcement and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police encourage anyone witnessing or with knowledge of fish and wildlife violations to report it.