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Sportman Group To Picket Native Fish Advocates' Banquet

A conflict between sport fishers and native fish advocates centers on management of hatchery fish.
Aaron Kunz
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A conflict between sport fishers and native fish advocates centers on management of hatchery fish.

A group of sport fishers plans to picket the annual banquet for native fish advocates in Portland Friday evening.

The conflict centers on management of hatchery fish.

Members of the Three Rivers Sportsman's Alliance say the Native Fish Society wants to eliminate hatchery fish.

Greg Osburn, who leads the sportsman's group, says that's a problem for fishermen who want to keep the salmon and steelhead they catch. "If you eliminate hatchery practices, you eliminate fish that you can take home to your family. That inevitably has a negative effect on the local economy, local businesses."

Mike Moody, director of the Native Fish Society, says his group doesn't want to stop fishermen from fishing. Rather, it wants to rebuild wild fish for people to catch.

"We've been pretty maliciously attacked on various fishing blogs," he says. "There have been a number of aggressive magazine articles that are opposed to this. We've actually had people come into our office and cuss us out for what we're doing. When you have principles, you've got to expect pushback. It means we're doing something right."

Moody says hatcheries can have a negative impact on wild fish. That's why his group went to court to stop hatchery fish releases into the Sandy River.

Osburn says he believes hatchery fish can be managed so they don't impact wild fish.

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Cassandra Profita