Senator Fred Girod: Protecting Fish and the Economy

Senator Fred Girod has introduced legislation that allows recreational activities to succeed while also producing revenue for our state.

By Rebecca Tweed,
Taxpayer Association Lawmaker Profile Series

Senator Fred Girod is doing his part to increase the success and economic impact of the recreational on the practical, particularly when it comes to the fine art of salmon, sturgeon and steelhead fishing.

His gillnetting bill, Senate Bill 524, perhaps the one with the most impact on the fishing industry essentially prohibits taking salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in Columbia River using any type of net. Salmon and Steelhead, the most common type of game, are both on the endangered species list and the gillnets are responsible for hampering the fish stocks.

“There are over 300,000 fishermen in the state of Oregon. As part of their recreation, they buy permits, they buy boats, the stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants”¦their recreation is actually a huge part of Oregon’s economic development,” says Senator Fred Girod. “We stand a huge financial loss across many important industries if we don’t do something about this.”

Senator Fred Girod said his bills came to fruition while hanging out with fellow fisherman. What started as a casual fishing trip and conversation turned into a five point plan which then turned into these two pieces of legislation. A number of fishing groups have backed Senator Fred Girod’s efforts on this issue, supporting the preservation of the fishing industry and its positive impact on our economy. The fishing industry

While there’s a widge range of support on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers, the bill may not pass during this cycle because of challenges in the process. “The votes are there, but I just don’t think it’ll be decided on during this cycle. The problem won’t go away, there’s an ongoing need for something to be done and it will only become more and more prevalent,” says Senator Girod.

That won’t stop Senator Girod from trying to make a difference. He speaks at the Coastal Conservation Association, speaks to local groups about encouraging one another to fish wisely and responsibly and helps educate small groups of fisherman on how they can help the political system to move these types of legislation forward.

“There are too many great things that could come from approving these bills versus the negatives on our industries that we need to do something about it. When I sat down and thought about what I could do, these were the ideas that me and colleagues came up with,” says Senator Fred Girod. “You can’t ignore the impact these would have. It’s only beneficial.”

Senator Fred Girod has also introduced two other fishing-industry specific legislation directed at the federal government. Senate Joint Memorial 7 which urges the United States Secretary of Interior to give Oregon the authority to seize cormorants, a popular bird predator of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in Oregon and alongside Representative Vic Gilliam (R””Silverton) House Joint Memorial 18, urging United States Secretary of Commerce to give Oregon the authority to remove California sea lions from Columbia River.

— More on State Senator Fred Girod.