ODFW seeks comment on two fish passage exemptions

Tweet ODFW seeks comment on two fish passage exemptions Monday, September 18, 2017 SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) seeks public comments on two separate requests to provide exemptions from the state’s fish passage requirements. Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) owns and manages these culverts. Comments are due by October 9, 2017. ODOT plans to repair two culverts located on OR 34 (Alsea Highway) at mile posts 4.2 and 8.7 in Lincoln County near Waldport, Oregon. These actions have triggered Oregon’s fish passage laws. According to Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program coordinator, ODFW may grant fish passage exemptions if there are no benefits to native migratory fish from providing passage. Because of the site specific habitat conditions and other complete artificial obstructions adjacent to the project locations, ODFW has made an initial determination that even if fish passage were provided, the actions would still result in no net benefit to native migratory fish. If in the future, conditions change from which the decisions were made, exemptions can be revoked and fish passage shall be addressed. Therefore, unless public comment is provided that would affect the Department’s determinations, these exemption requests will be approved.  In the meantime, members of the public will have until October 9, 2017 to submit written comments on the proposed plans. The fish passage exemption applications and the Department’s benefit analyses are available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/passage/ . Members of the public can send written comments to or request additional information from Greg Apke, ODFW Fish Passage Program leader, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem, OR 97303, e-mail, Greg.D.Apke@state.or.us, or by calling...

Commission adopts 2018 Big Game Regulations

Tweet Commission adopts 2018 Big Game Regulations Friday, September 15, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted Big Game Regulations when it met today in Welches, Ore. There are a few changes including shifts in season dates. The Commission updated language to make it clearer that mechanical and moveable blades are not lawful to use for archery hunting. The Commission declined to expand the prohibition on night vision optics until they further explore the issue. The Commission also approved funding for several recommended Access and Habitat projects to improve wildlife habitat on private land in Oregon. The Commission heard updates on several issues including sea lions’ impact on Willamette River winter steelhead, sage-grouse conservation efforts, and the Wolf Conservation and Management plan which is in the process of being updated. No action was taken on these issues. The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state and it typically meets monthly. Its next meeting is Oct. 13 in Prineville. ### Contact: Michelle Dennehy, Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us, (503) 931-2748 Read more at...

Volunteer opportunity at Salmon River Hatchery

Tweet Volunteer opportunity at Salmon River Hatchery Thursday, September 14, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—ODFW is looking for volunteers to help with the Fall Chinook Program at Salmon River Hatchery this fall. Staff will activate the fish trap this weekend with the forecasted rain, and volunteer shifts will be available starting next week. In 2016, Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program volunteers contributed over 500 hours at the Salmon River Hatchery and were responsible for the distribution of adult Chinook salmon to eight Oregon food share organizations.  Salmon River Hatchery releases 200,000 adipose-marked and coded wire tagged fall Chinook salmon smolts each year to support a popular in-river recreational fishery, supplement ocean recreational and commercial fisheries, and provide information for the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Salmon River Hatchery fall Chinook are the indicator stock to estimate the exploitation rate for all fall Chinook on the North Oregon coast. The recoveries of these fish in the commercial and sport fisheries in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, along with recoveries at the hatchery and on the spawning grounds, are used to represent the harvest rate of Oregon’s coastal fall Chinook in these fisheries.   Additional information about the volunteer program can be obtained at https://midcoaststep.ivolunteer.com or by contacting Christine Clapp at christine.m.clapp@state.or.us or 541-265-8306×253. The Salmon River Hatchery is located at 575 N. North Bank Rd. Otis, Oregon.  ### Contact: Christine Clapp, (541) 265-8306 x253, Christine.M.Clapp@state.or.us Read more at...

Recreational bottomfish closed as of Monday, after excellent summer season

Tweet Recreational bottomfish closed as of Monday, after excellent summer season Tuesday, September 12, 2017 NEWPORT, Ore.—Oregon’s recreational bottomfish season will close to all species but flatfish as of Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11:59 p.m. because the quotas for several species have been reached. As of Monday morning (Sept. 18), anglers may no longer catch or retain lingcod, any species of rockfish, cabezon, greenling, or other bottomfish. There is a new opportunity for anglers to fish for flatfish (except Pacific halibut) at all depths, also starting Monday.     “Recreational bottomfishing was excellent this year, with effort and catch rates higher than anticipated,” said Maggie Sommer, ODFW marine fisheries manager. “Because the annual quotas for several species have been met, fishery managers need to close the season.” Good weather in spring and summer, as well as fewer opportunities for other fisheries, have led to more boats and anglers fishing for bottomfish this year. “It’s been a poor salmon season and tuna haven’t really made a strong showing within range of most recreational anglers,” said Sommer. “This increased fishing pressure on bottomfish, and anglers had a lot of success pursuing these species.” Additionally, Oregon’s black rockfish harvest quota was reduced 10 percent this year after a 2015 federal stock assessment. While the stock was determined to be healthy, the assessors also determined that in order to keep the population healthy in the long term, lower harvest levels were necessary.  ODFW’s marine researchers are developing additional methods to provide data for future assessments of black rockfish and other nearshore species that will help the assessments accurately reflect Oregon’s stocks.  Several ocean fishing opportunities...

Commission meets Sept. 15 in Welches to adopt 2018 Big Game Regulations

Tweet Commission meets Sept. 15 in Welches to adopt 2018 Big Game Regulations Friday, September 8, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Sept. 15 in Welches, Ore. at the Resort at the Mountain, Huckleberry Room, 68010 East Fairway Ave, Welches. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, and follows this agenda http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/17/09_sep/index.asp The meeting will also be streamed at ODFW’s Twitter and Periscope (@myODFW) accounts. The Commission is expected to adopt big game hunting regulations for 2018. There are few major changes being proposed. Staff are proposing updated language to make it clearer that arrows with moveable blades cannot be in a hunter’s possession when hunting, and that night vision equipment is not lawful to use when scouting or hunting. The Commission had asked ODFW to explore a ban on baiting deer and elk when hunting. After review and gathering public input, ODFW staff are not proposing such a ban. The State Legislature lifted the 3% limitation on non-resident general fall bear tags. Demand for these tags has declined since a ban on using hounds to hunt was put in place in the mid-1990s, so the regulation is no longer needed. The Commission will also be asked to approve funding for two Access and Habitat projects to improve wildlife habitat on private land in Oregon. The Commission will also be briefed on several issues including sea lions’ impact on Willamette River winter steelhead, sage-grouse, and the Wolf Plan which is in the process of being updated. These briefings will occur at the beginning of the meeting in the Director’s Report section of the meeting...