Governor Brown – Please Keep Your Promise

Governor Brown –
Please Keep Your Promise

By now, sportanglers invested in the future of fishing in the mainstem Columbia have heard about the  Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s vote on January 20th to abandon the bi-state Columbia River salmon fisheries reform plan. The Commission’s decision has sport fishers OUTRAGED, and rightfully so!

Against the recommendation of its own professional fisheries staff, and despite commercial salmon fisheries exceeding the plan’s financial expectations, the Oregon Commission, led by two commissioners with ties to the commercial fishing industry, reneged on its commitment to fully implement the bi-state agreement. Instead, the Commission adopted rules that fail to deliver the promised sport fishing priority embodied in the reform plan and allow non-selective gill nets – which indiscriminately kill both hatchery and threatened and endangered wild salmon – to permanently remain on the mainstem. In doing so, the Oregon Commission unilaterally abandoned 99 years of concurrent fisheries management on the Columbia River with the State of Washington under the Columbia River Compact.

The foundation of the Commission’s decision lies with Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s appointment of former commercial gill net lobbyist Bruce Buckmaster to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. In a meeting with Governor Brown prior to Mr. Buckmaster’s appointment, sport fishing industry and sport fishing group leaders expressed grave concerns about Mr. Buckmaster’s intentions to undo the reform plan. At that meeting, Governor Brown pledged that if Mr. Buckmaster tried to undo the Columbia River reform plan, she would remove him from the Commission. Governor Brown reaffirmed this promise in a September 2, 2016 meeting with the Steelheaders, where she indicated she remained committed to implementation of the reform plan.

It’s now time for Governor Brown to keep her promise and fix the mess Mr. Buckmaster and company have created.

And it’s not just the sport anglers saying so. Representative Bill Kennemer just delivered an impassioned speech on the floor of the house during opening session. Following his speech, which torched the four commissioners that voted to renege on the promises of the reform plan, he called on Governor Brown to make the appropriate changes to fix the sideways vote. Take a few minutes and fast forward to minute 28:00 of this video. It will be the best 3:20 minutes of your day!

But just in case Governor Brown needs a little more encouragement, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders is calling out to all sport fishers.


There are two critical actions you can take now to help us fight for implementation of the reform plan:

• Join your fellow sport anglers in signing this petition that shows your STRONG support for full implementation of the Columbia River Fisheries Reform Plan, AND the removal of Bruce Buckmaster from the Fish and Wildlife Commission. It’s time Governor Brown kept her commitment to the bi-state reform plan, and her promise to remove Mr. Buckmaster from the Commission. Send this link to all of your family, friends and work associates.

• Help us help you. Please join the Association of Northwest Steelheaders AND please donate to our Campaign for Full Implementation of the Columbia River Fisheries Reform Plan. By donating you’ll help us get the word out and implement our campaign to ensure sportanglers get what we paid for, what we sacrificed for, and what we were promised. Your dollars will go directly into our work for full implementation of the Columbia River Fisheries Reform Plan and meaningful seasons for the sport anglers on the Columbia River!

Sign and Share This Petition

As you’re signing this petition, we’re drafting a multi-organizational letter addressed to Governor Brown to fully implement the tenets of the reform plan, come into concurrent regulation with Washington, and remove commissioner Buckmaster from the commission. By signing the petition, and getting all your fishing friends to sign it too, we’ll deliver a strong message to Governor Brown that this debacle needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed soon!

Also attend:

• A town hall event on Saturday, February 4th at noon, at the Monarch Hotel located at 12566 SE 93rd Ave in Clackamas. Bob Rees of the Steelheaders and Bruce Polley of CCA will be speaking and answering questions!

• The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission reception at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen Show on Thursday, February 9th, in the Green Room, starting at 4:00 p.m. STOP BY THE STEELHEADERS BOOTH (booth numbers 1412 and 487) and buy a “NO BROKEN PROMISES” hat that will really tell our commissioners what we think about their decision. We may also have signs available for the Commission reception! Remember, we should be thanking commissioners Weber, Finley and Bittle for their votes in support of sport fishers! Wear your Steelheader gear proudly!

Bob Rees
Executive Director – Association of Northwest Steelheaders

Stay Tuned: We are taking this to the legislature!
This battle is far from over, and together, we can turn this ship around


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