Marbled Murrelet status review released for public input

Tweet Marbled Murrelet status review released for public input Friday, September 29, 2017 SALEM, Ore – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today released a draft Status Review of the Marbled Murrelet for public review and comment. The status review is in response to a petition submitted to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission by several conservation groups. The petitioners recommend the seabird be reclassified from threatened to endangered, or “uplisted,” under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. Comments on the draft status review are invited through November 9, 2017. Written comments can be submitted by email to odfw.marbledmurrelet@state.or.us or by mail to ODFW, Marbled Murrelet, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem, OR 97302. Comments submitted, including identifying information such as names, affiliations, and email addresses, will become part of the public record. ODFW will produce a final status report following completion of the public and peer review processes. Staff tentatively plan to present that final document at the February 2018 Commission meeting. Check ODFW’s Marbled Murrelet web page for background information on the rulemaking process and associated timeline. ### Contact: Christina Donehower, 503-947-6099 Meghan Dugan, 541-464-2179 Read more at...

Recreational bottomfish to reopen for some species outside 40 fathoms Oct. 1; Long-leader gear required

Tweet Recreational bottomfish to reopen for some species outside 40 fathoms Oct. 1 Long-leader gear required Tuesday, September 26, 2017 NEWPORT, Ore.— Recreational fishing for bottomfish for some species will reopen Oct. 1 outside the 40 fathom line for anglers with “long-leader” gear.  Several species of rockfish found outside of 40 fathoms are abundant and catches are well under quota, including yellowtail and canary rockfish. Long-leader gear has proven effective at catching these plentiful rockfish that are found off the bottom, such as yellowtail (“greenies”), widow (“brownies”), and canary rockfish, among others. “Earlier this month, we had to close groundfish early when the quotas for black rockfish and several other species were reached after a very busy summer bottomfishing season,” said Maggie Sommer, Fisheries Management Section Leader for ODFW. “We understand this has been difficult for coastal communities, visitors wanting to fish, and the businesses that depend on them.” “By opening outside 40 fathoms, where black rockfish and other nearshore rockfish are rarely caught, and requiring the long-leader gear, we can provide some additional opportunity while still protecting black rockfish and other species and keeping this fishery sustainable,” continued Sommer. Long-leader gear was first developed and tested in Oregon waters to avoid yelloweye rockfish. The gear requires a minimum of 30’ of distance in the line between the terminal weight and the lowest hook, as well as a non-compressible float above the hook. The unusually long leader and the float work together to ensure that the gear fishes well above the bottom. A diagram and specifications for the gear are available at ODFW offices or at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/finfish/groundfish_sport/index.asp. In addition...

Clatsop County beaches reopen to razor clamming on Oct. 1 after 16-month closure

Tweet Clatsop County beaches reopen to razor clamming on Oct. 1 after 16-month closure Clammers will find fewer, but larger, razors Monday, September 25, 2017 ASTORIA, Ore.—Razor clamming on Clatsop County beaches will reopen on Sunday, Oct. 1 after a 16-month closure. Razor clamming in this area has been closed since July 2016 due to high levels of biotoxins found in the clams and an annual closure to protect newly set young clams that runs from July 15-Sept. 30 each year. While other parts of the state’s coast have been open to razor clamming, Clatsop County beaches are the most popular spot and account for 90 percent of Oregon’s harvest. Oregon Dept. of Agriculture tests shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides permit, to determine if razor clams and other shellfish are safe to eat. Results from ODA’s two most recent tests (on Sept. 22 and Sept. 8) show clams are safe. The last time Clatsop County’s season was open in summer 2016, razor clammers experienced a record year, with most reaching their daily bag limit of 15 in a short time. Clammers will find different conditions when they return on Oct. 1 as ODFW’s annual survey found significantly lower abundance of razor clams since surveys began in 2004. “In 2016, abundance peaked and surveys estimated 16 million razor clams in the 18-mile stretch between the Columbia River south jetty and Tillamook Head,” says Matt Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish Project Leader. “This year, the estimate is just 3 million clams in that area.” “These low numbers are troubling, as they mean Clatsop beaches haven’t seen a significant recruitment event for...

ODFW seeks comment on fish passage waiver at Bad Banks Creek

Tweet ODFW seeks comment on fish passage waiver at Bad Banks Creek September 20, 2017 SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) seeks public comment on a request by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to provide a waiver from the state’s fish passage requirements at a fish barrier culvert on Bad Banks Creek, located on U.S. Highway 22 at mile post 38.6 in Marion County. Comments are due by October 11, 2017. ODOT plans to repair this culvert in 2020. This action has triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws. In exchange for waiving fish passage requirements at this culvert, ODOT plans to replace a fish barrier culvert located on Little Rock Creek in Linn County with a new bridge. The fish passage waiver application, the Department’s net benefit analysis, and a draft waiver agreement are available at the links below. Waiver request Net Benefit Analysis Draft Waiver Agreement Members of the public have until October 11, 2017 to submit written comments on the proposed plan. Please send written comments to, or request additional information from Jenni Dykstra, ODFW Statewide Assistant Fish Passage Coordinator, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem, OR 97303, email: Jenni.M.Dykstra@state.or.us, or by calling (503) 947-6217. ### Contact: Jenni Dykstra (503) 947-6217 Read more at...

Public meetings on 2018 recreational Pacific halibut fisheries

Tweet Public meetings on 2018 recreational Pacific halibut fisheries Sept. 26 in North Bend, Sept. 27 in Newport Tuesday, September 19, 2017 NEWPORT, Ore.—ODFW will host two public meetings on the 2018 recreational Pacific halibut fisheries next week: Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m., North Bend Public Library, 1800 Sherman Ave, North Bend Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m, ODFW Marine Resources Program conference room, 2040 SE Marine Science Dr., Newport. ODFW staff are holding the meetings to seek input on two changes to the 2018 recreational halibut fisheries approved for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. There is one proposed change to the days of the week open for the Columbia River Subarea all-depth fishery (currently open Thursday through Sunday; the proposal is to open Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, but not Saturday), and one proposal to split the Central Oregon Coast subarea into two areas, north and south of the north Florence Jetty. There are no proposed changes to the Southern Oregon Subarea. The Newport meeting on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. will also be webcast at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/939817925. Join the webcast on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also dial in by phone at +1 (224) 501-3412 Access Code: 939-817-925. Details on the webcast meeting are also available on the sport halibut webpage. For those who cannot attend in person or via the webcast, an online survey and the meeting background materials will be available Thursday, Sept. 21 on the sport halibut webpage. ### Contact: Lynn Mattes, Lynn.Mattes@state.or.us, 541-867-0300 x237 Read more at...