SALEM, Ore.– Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted game bird hunting and sport fishing regulations.
“Most waterfowl populations remain robust and hunters can look forward to another great season with liberal bag limits,” said Brad Bales, migratory bird program coordinator. “Our surveys show duck breeding populations in Oregon are up 27 percent overall from last year while populations in major breeding areas of Alaska and Canada are up 14 percent.”
Migratory goose hunting will also return to Tillamook County after a more than 20-year absence to help farmers experiencing depredation.
Most upland bird seasons operate under a five-year framework so hunters won’t see many changes this year. Though most turkey hunters are already using smaller shot, a new regulation reduces the maximum limit of shot from BB to #2 for safety reasons because the smaller shot does not travel as far.
Below is a summary of the 2007-08 game bird regulations adopted today. More details about game bird hunting opportunities can be found in ODFW’s annual Fall Hunting Forecast, to be available online in mid-August.
Turkey: General western Oregon fall season Oct. 15-Dec. 31 with a season limit of one turkey of either sex. ODFW is increasing tags for the Blue Mountain controlled hunt in northeastern Oregon from 300 to 400 tags.
Sage grouse: Season Sept. 8-16; application deadline Aug. 27. Sage grouse permit numbers were reduced by 125 to 1,175 because of reduced population numbers related to below-average production in core areas and fires in sage grouse habitat.
Special upland game bird hunts: 12 youth hunts statewide during one of three weekends in September. New this year, all participants in youth hunts are required to wear safety glasses which ODFW can provide. Becoming an Outdoors-Woman pheasant hunt Sept. 15 at Klamath Wildlife Area. Western Oregon fee pheasant hunts at wildlife areas Denman Sept. 24-Oct. 12, E.E. Wilson Oct. 1-31, Fern Ridge Sept. 10-Oct. 7, Sauvie Island Sept. 17-30.
Eurasian collared doves, bobwhite quail: Neither bird is native to Oregon and each resembles other game birds (mourning dove and California quail). Eurasian collared doves may now be taken during mourning dove season and bobwhite quail during California quail season.
Ducks: The Commission approved another liberal 107-day duck season with a daily bag limit of seven ducks with no more than one pintail, two canvasback, three scaup, two hen mallard, and two redheads. Season dates are Oct. 13-28 and Oct. 31-Jan. 27 in Zone 1 and Oct. 6-Dec. 4 and Dec. 7-Jan. 20 for Zone 2.
Goose: Most zones continue a 100-day season with a liberal bag limit of four dark geese and four white geese. Openings are concurrent with duck openers in most areas. The bag limit for the September Canada goose season in eastern Oregon has been reduced from five to three per day to reflect declining populations of resident geese.
After a 20-year absence, migratory goose hunting will return to Tillamook County this year, structured in way to protect Semidi Island Aleutian Canada geese and other sensitive populations. A Tillamook County farmer and representative from the Oregon Farm Bureau testified in support of goose hunting during today’s meeting. The late season goose hunts established last year to help with depredation in Klamath County and along the South Coast will also continue.
The 2007-08 game bird regulations will be available Aug. 18 at ODFW offices and license retailers statewide and on the ODFW website.
The Commission also adopted 2008 sport fishing regulations.
Effective Jan. 1, 2008, anglers will no longer be able to keep wild winter steelhead on the Umpqua River. The Commission considered several proposals to eliminate the harvest of wild steelhead and voted to make the fishery catch-and-release only for wild winter steelhead in the mainstem and North Fork Umpqua River. Previously, regulations allowed the harvest of one wild steelhead per day and five per year.
The Commission also approved wild coho salmon seasons on Siltcoos and Tahkenitch Lakes for this fall and restricted angling opportunities on the Herman Creek Lagoon to handicapped anglers only beginning Aug. 11.
The 2008 fishing regulations will be available later this year at ODFW offices and license retailers statewide and on the ODFW website.
OSP Trooper recognized
Oregon State Police Trooper Luke Schwartz of St. Helens was awarded the state’s top conservation enforcement honor when he was recognized with the Shikar Safari International Wildlife Officer of the Year award during the meeting.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The next meeting is Sept. 6-7 in Klamath Falls.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.