NORTH BEND, Ore. – Ahead of the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting April 6- 12, when possible ocean seasons for coho salmon or fall chinook will be decided, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission were briefed by ODFW fishery managers today about the range of options for sport and commercial salmon seasons in the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River areas.
In light of low returns to the Sacramento River, fishery managers recently announced the closure of the March 15-April 30 sport chinook ocean salmon season and commercial ocean troll salmon fishery south of Cape Falcon. The Commission will adopt the 2008 Ocean Salmon Regulations for nearshore and Columbia River areas at its April 18 meeting in Salem.
The meeting also included an update on the recent announcement by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration authorizing Oregon and Washington to use lethal control of sea lions to help protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.
Robin Brown, the marine mammal program manager, briefed the commissioners on ODFW and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to move forward with sea lion control actions in accordance with the federal authorization.
“I’m extremely pleased that Oregon and Washington now have an additional tool to help protect salmon,” said Commissioner Skip Klarquist. “We hope the public will understand that we appreciate the sensitivity of this issue and will support the solution.”
Commissioners were also briefed on the management plan for Diamond Lake which is scheduled to be adopted in 2009. Diamond Lake was one of the state’s premier trout fisheries until the introduction of invasive tui chub in 1992. A successful rotenone treatment in 2006 restored the lake’s water quality, which ODFW and other natural resources agencies have been monitoring since.
Commissioners met with members of the public Thursday at the reception held at the North Bend Community Center. The reception was an opportunity for members of the public to meet Commission members and ODFW staff to discuss current fish and wildlife issues. Thursday included a tour of Garrison Lake to discuss flood control issues and fisheries management, followed by a trip to Langlois.
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.