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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (April 26, 2016)
KIDS CELEBRATE RETURN OF TUFTED PUFFINS • PAGE 2A
143RD YEAR, NO. 209
DailyAstorian.com // TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2016
to forestry but not
By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI
Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian
Laurie Weitkamp, a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, checks a juvenile steelhead caught in the
Columbia River near Cathlamet for a tag.
Plucked from the river
Biologists study young salmon for wetlands restoration consequences
By EDWARD STRATTON
The Daily Astorian
ATHLAMET, Wash . — The U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers wants to
know how wetland restoration efforts
are beneﬁ ting juvenile salmon as they
feed in the mouth of the Columbia River
on their way to the Paciﬁ c Ocean.
Trying to answer that question are
multiple ﬁ eld teams working under
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration and the U.S. Department
of Energy’s Paciﬁ c Northwest National
“I think, in part, we’re spending a lot of
money on restoring wetlands, and there’s
some controversy in that, because it’s not
cheap,” said Kurt Fresh, the principal inves-
tigator in the migration study and head of
the estuarine and ocean ecology program in
the National Marine Fisheries Science Cen-
ter, part of NOAA. “And there’s a question
of how effective all this work is. Are we get-
ting the beneﬁ ts people think we are?”
Fishing for yearlings
Fisheries biologist Laurie Weitkamp
leads one of Fresh’s ﬁ eld teams that catch ,
dissect and preserve migrating juvenile
salmon on the main channel of the Colum-
Oregon’s timber industry has a blemish
on its otherwise positive public image: Peo-
ple consider clearcutting unsightly.
Most Oregonians know that state law
requires trees to be replanted after harvest,
but clearcutting is nonetheless associated
with negative words, including “ugly,” “sad”
and “greed,” according to the Oregon Forest
Resources Institute, which educates the pub-
lic about forestry.
According to an OFRI survey, 68 per-
cent of Oregon residents had a favorable
view of the forest products industry —
more than for tourism, construction and
high-tech manufacturing — and 62 percent
agreed that current forest protection laws
are strong enough.
See TIMBER, Page 8A
Short-term rental fees
to offset increases
By R.J. MARX
The Daily Astorian
Joshua Bessex/The Daily Astorian
NOAA biologist Laurie Weitkamp extracts the liver from a juvenile steelhead.
The liver was then frozen and packed to be sent to a lab for testing.
bia . The samples they collect tell research-
ers how the ﬁ sh indirectly beneﬁ t from wet-
lands they pass by.
On a misty morning Friday, Weitkamp
and her contracted research and boat crew
from Ocean Associates Inc., headed out of
Elochoman Slough Marina in Cathlamet
in the research vessel Tyee, followed by a
smaller skiff. Together, the vessels trawled
for several minutes in the main channel of
the Columbia next to the Julia Butler Han-
sen National Wildlife Refuge, and near
a recently restored wetland at Steamboat
See SALMON, Page 12A
GEARHART — Planning costs, legal
fees and health insurance are driving the
Gearhart budget to almost $1.7 million, up
about $200,000 from last year. Some of these
costs will be addressed by proposed short-
term rental fees, which could bring in about
$140,000 in revenue, City Administrator
Chad Sweet said.
In a public meeting on the budget with
members of the City Council and the Budget
Committee last week, Councilor Dan Jesse
questioned health care costs.
“The ﬁ gures seem quite high for 10
employees,” Jesse said.
See GEARHART, Page 8A
Ghost ﬁ shing land mines: Cleaning up lost ﬁ shing gear
By WAYNE PARRY
WARETOWN, N.J. — They are the land
mines of the sea, killing long after being
Abandoned or lost ﬁ shing gear, including
traps, crab pots and nets, litter the ocean ﬂ oor
in coastal areas around the world. Many con-
tinue to attract, entrap and kill ﬁ sh and other
marine life in what’s called “ghost ﬁ shing.”
Groups, governments and companies
around the world are engaged in efforts to
retrieve and recycle as much of the abandoned
gear as they can get their hands on. The goal
is to protect the environment, prevent marine
life from being killed, remove threats to navi-
gation, and in some cases, generate energy.
Pascal van Erp, a Dutch diver who was
horriﬁ ed by the amount of abandoned ﬁ shing
equipment he encountered, founded the Ghost
Fishing Foundation to tackle the issue.
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“The problem with lost gear is enormous,”
he said. “It is found in all seas, oceans and
inland waters at all depths, along the beach
and under the sand. I think the problem never
can be resolved completely, but we can keep it
from getting worse by showing the problem to
the public and the authorities.”
For as long as mankind has been ﬁ shing, it
has been losing some of that gear, but the prob-
lem has become particularly acute in recent
decades with rapid advances in technology and
the expansion of global ﬁ shing ﬂ eets.
Industry experts and scientists estimate
that commercial ﬁ shermen lose about 10 per-
cent of their traps per year to bad weather,
currents that drag them to far-ﬂ ung places
or boats that sever tie lines intended to keep
them in place.
See GHOST FISHING, Page 12A
April 28 to
AP Photo/Wayne Parry
Robert Cericola, a commercial crabber, shows some of the
103 discarded crab traps he and others retrieved from Bar-
negat Bay in and around Waretown, N.J. in just one week.
See Page 4 for more details!