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Originally published Friday, January 4, 2013 at 8:56 PM

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Gillnetters file court challenge to new rules

Commercial fishermen have turned to the Oregon Court of Appeals to challenge a recent change in the state's gillnet fishing rules.

The Associated Press

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ASTORIA, Ore. —

Commercial fishermen have turned to the Oregon Court of Appeals to challenge a recent change in the state's gillnet fishing rules.

In addition to a Friday petition that asks the appeals court to review the validity of the changes, the fishermen have sent a letter to the Washington state Fish and Wildlife Commission, asking it to push back a gillnet rule change decision expected later this month.

The Daily Astorian reports ( http://bit.ly/ZlG9wK) that a motion to stay enforcement of the new Oregon rules will be filed next week.

Last month, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to ban the use of gillnets to catch fish on the main stem of the Columbia River, relegating the primary commercial-fishing tool to side channels and tributaries.

Washington's fish commission is expected to decide next week on similar rules. That could eliminate the centuries-old practice from both sides of the river.

The gillnet ban was pushed by Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

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Information from: The Daily Astorian, http://www.dailyastorian.com

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