In January 2009, ODFW began developing a conservation plan for nine populations of wild fall chinook in the Rogue Fall Chinook Species Management Unit (SMU). This SMU covers Euchre Creek to the California border and includes the Rogue River Basin.
The need for a conservation plan became apparent during 2008 discussions on the expected poor returns of fall chinook to all of Oregon’s coastal basins. ODFW has taken actions to protect these fish in the Rogue Fall Chinook SMU when needed but lacked a formalized fishery management plan.
This conservation plan has several purposes: 1) to provide guidance to fishery managers in relation to key elements of the Native Fish Conservation Policy; 2) to provide the opportunity for public and co-manager input during plan development; and 3) to ensure fish management programs for both fall and spring chinook salmon in the Rogue River Basin complement each other.
The latter is imperative since a conservation plan for Rogue River spring chinook was adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2007. Some elements of this plan place management emphasis on spring chinook for allocation of reservoir storage available for fishery enhancement. As this water availability decreases over time, the ability to enhance fall chinook in the Rogue River will also decline.
ODFW developed this plan with the assistance of an advisory committee. The plan follows guidelines in ODFW’s Native Fish Conservation Policy to establish management priorities and direct attention to the most critical problems facing these important populations of fall chinook salmon.
Five alternatives for management strategies were created for the Rogue fall chinook populations, and six alternative management strategies were created for the coastal fall chinook populations. For the Rogue fall chinook populations, Rogue alternatives 4 and 5 received the most support from the advisory committee. For the coastal fall chinook populations, coastal alternatives 5 and 6 received the most support from the advisory committee. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted Rogue Alternative 4 and coastal Alternative 6 of the plan in January 2013. These alternatives primarily rely on habitat restoration, maintenance, and enhancement actions to achieve and maintain desired status, while maintaining current angling opportunities.
Upper Rogue: Dan Van Dyke 541-826-8774, Daniel.J.Vandyke@state.or.us
Lower Rogue: Todd Confer 541-247-7605, Todd.A.Confer@state.or.us
Approved by Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission: January 11, 2013
Annual progress reports