SALEM, Ore. – The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet in Sisters July 17-18 to adopt an amended Klamath Basin Fish Management Plan and 2008-09 furbearer trapping and hunting regulations.
Thursday’s meeting will be a field tour of various sites in the Metolius River Basin. Members of the public are welcome to attend the tour but must provide their own transportation. Meet at the Sisters Inn (540 Hwy 20 W) no later than 7:30 a.m. to join the tour.
The public is also invited to attend a 5:30 p.m. reception Thursday at the Five Pine Lodge Conference Center, South Sister Room, 1021 Desperado Trail. This event is an opportunity to meet Commission members and ODFW staff and discuss current fish and wildlife issues.
Friday’s meeting begins at 8 a.m. at the Five Pine Lodge Conference Center and proceeds chronologically through an agenda available online. This meeting will be the final opportunity for members of the public to comment on an amendment to the Klamath River Basin Fish Management Plan, a cautious, science-based plan to re-establish salmon in the Upper Klamath Lake and tributaries. Salmon disappeared from the Upper Klamath Basin in Oregon almost 100 years ago when Copco Dam in California blocked fish passage upriver.
The Commission will be asked to adopt 2008-09 trapping and hunting regulations for furbearers (bobcat, gray and red fox, marten, muskrat, mink, raccoon, river otter, beaver, badger, coyote, nutria, opossum, porcupine, spotted and striped skunks, weasels). The only major change proposed is a reduced bobcat bag limit from seven to five per season in eastern Oregon. High bobcat pelt prices have led to greater take of this furbearer in recent years and market prices are expected to remain high. The proposal will help ensure continued healthy populations of bobcats in eastern Oregon.
In 2007, there were 2,616 licensed furbearer trappers and/or hunters in Oregon. They play a critical role in keeping furbearer populations at levels compatible with the habitat available and reducing wildlife damage to crops and livestock.
The Commission will be asked to approve $420,894 in funding for 17 Restoration and Enhancement Program projects to restore fisheries and improve fishing opportunities throughout the state. This program is funded by a $2 surcharge on fishing licenses.
The Commission will be briefed on draft management plans for the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area in Monmouth and the Columbia Basin (Power City, Irrigon, Coyote Springs and Willow Creek) Wildlife Areas. Public comments on the draft plans can be emailed to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us, faxed to 503-947-6330 or mailed to ODFW Wildlife Division, 3406 Cherry Ave NE, Salem, OR 97302. Comments will be accepted through the Oct. 10, 2008 Commission meeting in Salem but should be received by Sept. 12, 2008 to allow for full review and consideration by ODFW staff.
Finally, the Commission will review and adopt rules amending public records requests procedures consistent with Senate Bill 554, which was adopted by the 2007 Oregon Legislature.
Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.
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 Aug. 8 in Salem, where topics include preliminary 2009 sportfishing regulations and adoption of the 2008-09 game bird hunting regulations. Agenda item exhibits may be requested by calling the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.