Another section of Oregon coast reopened to recreational crabbing

Tweet Another section of Oregon coast reopened to recreational crabbing Wednesday, December 20, 2017 The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announce that recreational crabbing is now open from Cape Blanco, north of Port Orford, to the Columbia River. Crab samples taken from the area indicate that levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have dropped below the alert level. This reopening of the recreational season applies to crab harvested in the ocean and in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties. Recreational crab harvesting remains closed along the southern Oregon coast from Cape Blanco to the California border due to elevated levels of domoic acid. Crab and shellfish products sold in retail markets and restaurants remain safe for consumers. It is always recommended to eviscerate the crab and discard the “butter” (viscera or guts) prior to cooking. When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended to discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, stews, stocks, roux, dressings, etc. The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended. For more information, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at: https://oda.direct/ShellfishClosures ### Contact: Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022 Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us Read more at...

Keep bird feeders clean: Dirty feeders can spread disease to backyard birds

Tweet Keep bird feeders clean: Dirty feeders can spread disease to backyard birds Red-breasted nuthatch at feeder. Keep feeders clean and free from bacteria to help birds stay healthy this time of year.  Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODDFW. Black-capped chickadee at feeder. Keep feeders clean and free from bacteria to help birds stay healthy this time of year. Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW. Monday, December 18, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—ODFW is urging people to keep their bird feeders clean and free of bacteria so wild birds stay healthy this winter. Calls to ODFW from Oregon bird lovers seeing dead birds in their yard and around their feeders are increasing with colder weather. Testing by the Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory identified the cause of one recent bird die-off at a feeder in Corvallis as a bacterial infection from salmonella. Salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria along with viruses, parasites and fungal diseases can be passed by congregating birds at feeders that don’t get cleaned regularly. When the weather turns cold, the energy demands on birds and other wildlife increase dramatically so a high energy seed meal at a bird feeder will bring in birds and congregate them, increasing the chance of disease transmission. Pine siskins, nuthatches, chickadees and other seed-eating backyard birds are some of the most common species affected by these diseases. The birds get infected at the feeders and pass the infection on when they come into contact with feeder surfaces, perches or visit multiple feeders. “We ask those Oregonians who enjoy seeing birds and feeding them in winter to provide a clean and healthy environment for their feathered visitors,”...

Nehalem’s Karen Kuntz recognized with Riley Freeman Award for wildlife conservation

Tweet Nehalem’s Karen Kuntz recognized with Riley Freeman Award for wildlife conservation The riparian buffers on Kuntz’s property along Tomlinson Creek keep water temperatures cooler and provide a refuge for juvenile salmonids in the summer. Wednesday, December 13, 2017 SALEM, Ore.—ODFW recognized Nehalem’s Karen Kuntz and her Foley Peak Angus cattle operation with the Riley Freeman award during the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and Oregon Cattlewomen’s Convention and Tradeshow earlier this month in Bend. Foley Peak Angus raises high quality, grass-fed beef on a 304-acre property in the Nehalem River watershed. The ranch uses an active grazing rotation plan, storm water runoff control, buffer strips along waterways and other efforts as part of a Resource Management System developed with the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Tillamook Soil and Conservation District. Rotational grazing throughout the property has been very effective at maintaining good field conditions and reducing sediment and manure runoff into Tomlinson Creek, which is a tributary of Foley Creek and the Nehalem River. Both sides of the creek have full vegetation, providing good canopy and habitat for wildlife and keeping water temperatures cooler for fish. Native tree plantings of conifers and diverse shrubs have also improved wildlife habitat and provide escape cover, thermal protection and rearing and roost areas for neo-tropical birds. Kuntz’s efforts have paid off for local native wildlife including Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, raptors, mustelids, and beavers which benefit from the diverse habitat the ranch provides. Juvenile salmonids also benefit from Kuntz’s stewardship. As they seek cooler water during the summer, the riparian buffers along Tomlinson Creek provide refuge from other areas...

Dec. 12 meeting to discuss new Coos Mtn TMA

Tweet Dec. 12 meeting to discuss new Coos Mtn TMA Monday, December 11, 2017 CENTRAL POINT, Ore.—The Southwest Region Council of the Access and Habitat program will host a second public meeting Dec. 12 at noon to discuss a possible new Travel Management Area to be known as the Coos Mountain TMA within the Tioga Wildlife Management unit. The meeting will be held at ODFW’s Central Point office, 1495 East Gregory Road. Attend in person or call 1-877-336-1831 and enter participant code 804246.  Commercial timberland ownership in the area has shifted in recent years. The new TMA would provide “Welcome to Hunt” access on 63,000 acres so that hunters would have access to more private and public land in the area. TMAs typically involve some motor vehicle restrictions and help regulate access so private landowners are more willing to open their property to hunters. The A&H program funds projects that provide hunter access and/or improve wildlife habitat on private land in Oregon. It’s funded by a $4 surcharge on hunting licenses and big game auction and raffle tag sales. For more information, please contact Jade Keehn, ODFW’s A&H SW Regional Coordinator at jade.e.keehn@state.or.us, (541) 826-8774 x232. ### Contact: Jade Keehn, ODFW’s A&H SW Regional Coordinator, jade.e.keehn@state.or.us, (541) 826-8774 x232 Read more at...

Commission sets groundfish seasons, delays Wolf Plan adoption

Tweet Commission sets groundfish seasons, delays Wolf Plan adoption Friday, December 8, 2017 The bamboo fly rod of Vic Atiyeh SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission set regulations for recreational and commercial groundfish seasons today at their meeting in Salem. The state’s regulations are based on federal quotas. After hearing public testimony, the Commission adopted a five fish bag limit (reduced from seven this year), in hopes of providing a year-round fishery in 2018. (The 2017 bag limit design was higher at seven fish, which was not sufficient to provide for year-round fishing, prompting an early closure that disrupted coastal charter businesses and anglers.) The Commission also approved an offshore longleader fishery with a 10-fish bag limit from January-March and October-December (though an April-September season may be added if federal regulations are adopted). Longleader gear can better target offshore rockfish species and lessen pressure on nearshore black rockfish. Further in-season adjustments to groundfish seasons could happen if needed to keep under allowed harvest levels and ODFW is committed to monitoring and reporting effort and catch at more frequent intervals. The cabezon fishery will remain the same (open July 1-Dec. 31 with bag limit of one cabezon). For more details on the 2018 recreational season visit https://myodfw.com/sport-groundfish-seasons-0 ODFW staff presented a working copy of the Draft Updated Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, showing the edits staff have made to the Plan since April 2017 as a result of comments from stakeholders, the public and commissioners. A panel of representatives from Wolf Program stakeholder groups also testified about the latest Plan. The Commission decided more time was needed to work on...

Oregon continues delay of commercial Dungeness crab season coastwide

Tweet Oregon continues delay of commercial Dungeness crab season coastwide Thursday, December 7, 2017 NEWPORT, Ore. – The opening of the commercial Dungeness crab season will be delayed until at least Dec. 31 along the entire Oregon coast as testing shows crabs are still too low in meat yield in some areas of the coast.  The ocean commercial Dungeness crab season in Oregon is targeted to open Dec. 1, but can be delayed to ensure a high-quality product to consumers and to avoid wastage of the resource. Crab quality testing in late November and early December showed that half of the areas still did not meet the criteria for an opening. The delayed opening will allow for crabs to fill with more meat.  Testing will continue to determine if the season should open Dec. 31, be further delayed, or be split into two areas with different opening dates. In conjunction with the delayed ocean commercial season, commercial harvest of Dungeness crab in Oregon bays is now closed for the remainder of the year. The delay in the ocean commercial season at this time is not directly related to the recent recreational crabbing closures that have affected some areas of the coast (currently, south of the north jetty of the Coquille River to California). These closures are due to elevated levels of the biotoxin domoic acid detected in crab. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) continues to monitor domoic acid levels in crab, and recreational and commercial crabbing in affected areas will remain closed or harvest restrictions will be put in place until test results indicate that crab harvested from...