SALEM, Ore —The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved the Oregon Coast Coho Conservation Plan for the State of Oregon.
The plan will help build coho populations to levels that will provide social and economic benefits to the state, as well as ensure that they will not become threatened or endangered. The habitat restoration work of many volunteers and landowners, along with reduced fishing and improved hatchery management, have all helped to improve the health of coho runs. With the approval of the plan, these efforts will be more robust and expanded.
“This is a big step forward in our efforts to improve habitat for coho salmon and other native fish and wildlife species,” said Kevin Goodson, ODFW conservation planning coordinator. “This is a State of Oregon plan that will rely on cooperation and coordination from all agencies, local groups and landowners--it really is an extension of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds.”
The Salmon and Trout Advisory Committee Vice Chair, Richard Heap, presented the 2006 Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program annual progress report to the commission. STEP volunteers contributed more than 71,000 hours of volunteer time to raise fish, provide outreach and education, monitor inventory, and restore habitat.
The commission approved $289,764 in funding for seven Restoration and Enhancement projects, including new handheld Global Positioning System units for accuracy in high lakes stocking. Also approved was new video equipment for monitoring ocean recreational fishing vessels. The equipment will assist in estimating salmon, halibut and groundfish catch.
Four Access and Habitat projects grants totaling $100,475 that will provide public hunting access and improve game wildlife habitat on private lands in Oregon received approval by the commission.
The commission approved two fish passage exemptions for the Oregon Department of Transportation on Greasewood Creek and Dry Creek in Northeast Oregon.
2007 Ocean Salmon Seasons
The Commission was briefed on the range of options for sport and commercial salmon seasons in the Pacifi Ocean. The range of options is much improved over 2006.
“This year’s forecast for Klamath Fall Chinook and coastal coho is greatly improved, which will translate into plenty of opportunities for recreational and commercial salmon fisheries,” said Assistant Fish Division Administrator Curt Melcher.
Anglers are reminded that the chinook salmon sport fishing season opened yesterday on the central Oregon coast between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain.
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.
The mission of the ODFW 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.