The Coastal Conservation Association says it will try again to place an initiative on the Oregon ballot in November to ban gillnets and tangle nets in state waters.
An initiative was filed with the Secretary of State's office last Christmas eve, then pulled by the group in mid-February following an Oregon attorney general decision altering its title.
Bryan Irwin, CCA's executive director in the Northwest, said the goal of the ballot measure is to end non-selective harvest of salmon, not to kill the commercial fishing industry.
But the attorney's general office, which must certify ballot titles, said the initiative would end commercial fishing on the Columbia River because gillnets and tangle nets currently are the only legal gear.
Although the proposed ballot measure would have established a fund to pay for commercial fishermen's transition to alternative methods, that does not make those methods legal.
Irwin said the goal is to transition to commercial gear capable of selectively harvesting hatchery fish and allowing release of wild fish.
To battle the attorney general's office title requires taking the issue to Oregon's Supreme Court, Irwin said.
"Evaluating all options, refiling made the most sense," he said.
CCA needs to collect 82,769 signatures by early July to make the 2010 ballot.
"Starting 2½ months later, that's a very aggressive time line," Irwin said.
Dave Schamp, chairman of CCA's Oregon board of directors, said the association's membership increased sharply after it filed the initiative.
"It has become very clear that when the public understands the horrific and wasteful toll that gillnets take on various forms of marine life — including endangered fish stock — and that a better method of harvest exists, reform is strongly supported," Schamp said.