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Workshops planned on new trawl-fishing gear

Newport News-Times

10th November 2004

A series of coastal workshops this month will introduce Oregon's commercial fishing fleet to new trawl gear designed to help them selectively catch abundant flatfish while avoiding species whose declining numbers have led to groundfish harvest restrictions.

The free workshops, sponsored by Oregon State University's Sea Grant Extension, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Trawl Commission, will take place Nov. 15-17 in Warrenton, Newport, and Charleston.

The new gear was developed by Oregon trawlers and net-makers in cooperation with ODFW in an effort to reduce accidental bycatch of declining species such as rockfish and whiting, while still permitting harvest of flatfish such as flounder and sole.

Paul Heikkila, Sea Grant Extension agent in Coos County, calls results of testing the new gear "very encouraging, with dramatically decreased catches of rockfish and whiting with no loss of flatfish."

The Pacific Fishery Management Council will begin requiring use of the selective flatfish trawl in the near-shore fishery on Jan. 1, 2005.

The workshops are designed to help commercial fishermen understand how the trawl is designed, rigged and fished, and how it compares to conventional gear. The program will feature presentations by ODFW personnel on the project including diagrams, pictures and models. Three fishermen and a net-maker will discuss their experiences with fishing and modifying the trawl.

The workshops schedule follows.

Monday, Nov. 15: 2p.m. to 5 p.m., Doogers Restaurant, 103 South Hwy 101, Warrenton

Tuesday, Nov. 16: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Englund Marine, 424 SW Bay Blvd., Newport

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2p.m. to 5 p.m., Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (dining room), 63466 Boat Basin Road, Charleston

For more information, contact Coos County Sea Grant Extension agent Paul Heikkila, Myrtle Point, (541) 572-5263, or by e-mail to; or Sea Grant Extension fisheries specialist Stephen Theberge, Astoria, (503) 325-8573 or by e-mail to