Mail Tribune 100

Feb. 8, 1917


The senate fish committee has reported favorably upon Senator Smith's bill increasing the length of the open season for commercial fishing in Josephine county from April 15 until August 1. The present law provides an open season from June 1 to August 1.

A public hearing on Thomas' bill to eliminate set nets and seines from the river was held Tuesday evening. The Portland Telegram contains this account of the meeting:

"Senator von der Heflen declared to the committee that the seines and set nets maintained by the Macleay estate at the mouth of the stream had resulted in the practical depletion of the upper portion of it and its tributaries of steelheads. After George Cornwall, editor of the Timberman, had briefly spoken for the bill, Gas Newbury of Medford addressed the committee. He asserted that the Macleary seines and set nets not only prevented salmon, but also steelheads, from coming up the river, and appealed to the committee to report the bill favorably without amendment. To amend the measure would mean another fight in the house, with the result that it would possibly be killed, he asserted. Dr. Jr. C. Smith of Josephine county, a member of the committee, Newbury said, contemplated amending the bill, and he reminded the senator that his constituents were favorable to the bill, and urged him not to tack amendments to it and jeopardize its passage. The question was whether or not one man should have a monopoly over the stream or 30,000 people he allowed to take salmon and game fish from it, he asserted.

After representative Thomas and a representative of the grange had spoken for the bill, Roderick Macleay took the floor against it. He declared that he was interested in promoting the fish industry, and that he maintained hatcheries on the stream for this purpose. He further declared that it was unlawful to catch steelhead, and that his company had never molested them.

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