PORTLAND -- Salmon fisherman like deep water on the Columbia because that's where the Chinook run. Large commercial ships also use the same deep water because they transport goods up and down the river. It can be a very dangerous combination.
This weekend the US Coast Guard and several marine patrol units teamed up for what they call "Operation Make Way". By law, small vessels must give ships and barges room to safely pass, but that doesn't always happen during fishing season.
"We've had a couple of boaters that were upset. They had to move for inbound vessel, but after talking to them further, they realized the law of tonnage always wins so they moved," said Columbia County Marine Deputy Dustin King.
Coast Guard members rode on ships and marine patrol boats and spotted salmon fisherman in the way. Several citations were issued to a few fisherman who did not cooperate.
"It's a challenge, the ships are constantly having to sound their danger signal for fisherman to pull their lines and move," said Jennifer Everly of the U.S. Coast Guard.
It's important to remember this is one territorial battle where the ships will win every single time.