The measure's sponsors, a curious coalition of conservation groups, wealthy sport fishermen and businesses that cater to them, have inaccurately depicted the 200 commercial gill-netters who work the Columbia as indiscriminate killers of marine life who threaten endangered salmon runs.
Oregon's gill-netters are themselves an endangered species.
What angers Bob Eaton is that eliminating the gill-netters is much easier, cheaper, and far less politically painful than making the dams more friendly to fish.
Fish traps, long loathed by gill-netters, were banned from the Columbia in 1948.
The SAFE plan, however, does not depend on gill-netters
' willingness to buy new equipment, and may offer the best promise of keeping the main stem of the Columbia open for wild salmon migration.