Ban on gillnetting appears headed to November ballot

Posted on July 02, 2012

A measure that would ban using gillnets on the Columbia River and Oregons other inland waters appears to be headed to the November ballot after supporters submitted another 45,000 signatures to the secretary of state Monday.

The recent drop brings the total number of signatures to 134,000 – far more than the 87,213 signatures required to qualify for a spot on the ballot.

As a general rule, not all of the signatures will be valid, but even if 30 percent are rejected – a high percentage – Initiative 21 would still comfortably make the ballot.

Supporters of the measure say gillnets, which work by capturing fish by the gills and smothering them, are outdated, indiscriminate and harm salmon and steelhead.

Were actually very elated by the response from all around the state, said Eric Stachon, a spokesman for Stop Gillnets Now. We think its an important conservation measure.

Native American tribal fishing would not be affected by the measure.

Stachon said the organization would still be collecting signatures this week before the Friday deadline, with gatherers posted at various Fourth of July events.

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