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OSP seeks witnesses to waste of Salmon and Steelhead in the Columbia River near The Dalles
Sergeant John Katzenstein
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife
The Dalles Area Command
Phone: 541-296-9646 X-5370

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The Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division in The Dalles is seeking the publics help in locating the person or persons responsible for the unlawful take and waste of over 40 salmon, steelhead and sturgeon from the Columbia River near The Dalles Dam.

On August 13, 2008 Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division Troopers from The Dalles Area Command were investigating an environmental complaint near The Dalles Dam when they learned of an illegal gill net located near Covington Point. Covington Point is located just downstream of The Dalles Dam.

OSP Troopers, with the assistance of the US Army Corps of Engineers, launched a State Police jet boat and navigated into the Boat Restricted Zone of The Dalles Dam. There they located a gill net, estimated at over 100 feet, which stretched from a fishing platform on the Oregon shore out into the Columbia River. The net was caught in rocks, but troopers were able to retrieve it using the boat. Over 40 salmon, steelhead and sturgeon had been trapped in the net and had gone to waste. While most of the fish were in various stages of decay, troopers were able to untangle and release six live sturgeon.

While retrieving the first gill net, officers found another 50-foot net that had been stretched from one fishing platform to another. The second net had been suspended just below the surface, and the corks had been painted black to reduce their visibility in the water. The second gill net appeared to have been recently deployed and no fish were found in it.

State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers ask anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Sergeant John Katzenstein at the Oregon State Police office in The Dalles at (541) 296-9646, or the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Information may be kept anonymous.