The ODFW’s War on Working Anglers

On August 5th, sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River’s Dalles Pool will go to three days a week. As is often the case, the three days when fishing is allowed will be Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The spring halibut season’s three day openers are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The summer halibut all-depth season’s three day operers are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Many of the restricted fisheries for salmon and other fish allow open fishing days designed to penalize the people who hold down regular Monday through Friday jobs.

For some reason, the ODFW is waging war on anglers who work regular jobs. Most jobs run from Monday morning through Friday afternoon and the people who hold down such jobs seldom get an even chance to sample restricted fisheries.

The question that needs to be answered is can these short partial-week fisheries be made more fair to working anglers?

And the answer is a resounding YES!

Instead of winding up these partial-week fisheries on weekends, the ODFW should start them on Saturdays. Three day openers would run Saturday, Sunday and Mondays and if the season had to be closed in the middle of an opener, one angler group would not be punished more than another.

The aspect of these partial-week fisheries that I find the most senseless is that there is apparently no downside to starting these fisheries on Saturdays. Almost everyone (retirees, the jobless and those holding down regular job)  gets the same fishing opportunity on the weekend days and since the first day that those regular working folks cannot fish would be the third day of any three day openers.

Although it is difficult to accurately track, there has to be some financial impact to fishing guides and charterboats. I am very surprised that they seem willing to accept the fact that they are having less working customers than they could have.

With fishing license sales down in many states and ODFW revenue evermore difficult to come by, why is the ODFW literally waging war on the anglers most able to purchase fishing licenses and tags? Not only does it not make any financial sense – it is very, very unfair.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.
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