SALEM, Ore.— The commission today adopted regulations removing the seasonal lamprey bag limit at Willamette Falls and added an additional day to the weekly lamprey fishing schedule.
Pacific Lamprey were listed as a sensitive species in Oregon in 1993 and are an important traditional food source for many native Americans. Lamprey can only be harvested with a permit issued by the Commission and staff recommended elimination of the seasonal bag limit. The seasonal bag limit did not reduce lamprey harvest, but posed a hardship for many tribal members.
“Lamprey are important in the diets and traditions of native people in Oregon,” said Curt Melcher, assistant fish division administrator.
“Given the significant changes in the fishery over the last decade, we felt removing the bag limit was the right thing to do for our tribal partners, and will have no biological impact on the lamprey.”
The new lamprey harvest rules are effective June 1 and will be available next week at ODFW offices.
The Commission also received an informational presentation on the Rogue Spring Chinook Conservation Plan. Tom Satterthwaite, fish project leader, updated the Commission regarding the feedback that the agency has received from sportfishing and conservation groups and the public since the draft of the Rogue Spring Chinook Conservation Plan was submitted for public comment.
The purpose of the Rogue Spring Chinook Conservation Plan is to ensure the continued viability of the Rogue Spring Chinook Salmon Species Management unit and to achieve a desired status that will provide significant ecological, economic and cultural benefits for all Oregonians. More information on the plan can be found at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/nfcp/rogue_river/.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. Agenda item exhibits may be requested by calling the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044. Agenda items also can be found on ODFW’s website at www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/.