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Commission adopts rules for marine reserves
 
December 11, 2009

 

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted regulations that will prohibit fishing and hunting in Oregon’s newly created marine reserves.

The new rules will take effect June 30, 2011 and govern the Otter Rock marine reserve near Newport and the Redfish Rocks marine reserve and marine protected area near Port Orford. The two sites were proposed as “pilot” marine reserves at the end of 2008, and the 2009 Oregon Legislature directed ODFW and other relevant state agencies to develop the rules for managing marine reserve sites. Management plans being put together by state agencies and community teams will determine how other non-extractive activities, such as surfing, will be managed in the marine reserves.

The Commission adopted the regulations for the 2010 commercial nearshore fishery for species such as rockfish, cabezon and greenling. The regulations prohibit the retention of green sturgeon in commercial fisheries.

The Commission also adopted and amended rules to suspend the Developmental Fisheries Program. The suspension of the program is due to insufficient funding. This Developmental Fisheries Program allowed for the controlled development of commercial fisheries for food fish species that are underutilized due primarily to limited markets or needed gear development. Included in the Commission’s ruling was the approval to modify the developmental species list pertaining to permitted fisheries for swordfish, box crab, anchovy/herring, spot prawn and hagfish.

On Thursday, the Commission appointed Alan Christensen of Portland as the Hunter Representative to the statewide Access and Habitat Board. It also approved $334,825 in grants for seven A&H projects that improve wildlife habitat or hunter access. Finally, it adopted rules in line with legislative changes that allow A&H funds to be used to purchase easements that provide hunters with right-of-way access to landlocked public land and simplify other natural resources agencies’ involvement in appointing A&H board members.

The Commission adopted rules that allow ODFW to suspend hunters from the Master Hunter program for a period of five years if they are convicted of, or plead guilty to, a violation of wildlife laws.

The Commission adopted falconry rules allowing the take of no more than seven peregrine falcons for falconry purposes in 2010 by permitted master falconers. Under the amended rules, nestling peregrine falcons may not be removed from the nest by falconers. Rules regarding the capture permit process and revocation and suspension of capture permits as it relates to falconry were also amended.

Brewer's Blackbird
Debbie Colbert, ODFW’s new deputy director of administration.

On Thursday, after hearing the details of a recent fatal hunting incident in Oregon, the Commission requested that the department begin a review of Oregon’s policy regarding the wearing of blaze orange while hunting. In many states, hunters are required by law to wear blaze orange because doing so allows them to be easily seen by others and reduces shooting incidents. Oregon strongly encourages hunters to wear blaze orange but does not require it. The Commission will consider the policy during its review and adoption of 2011 hunting regulations.

Also today, Commissioners met ODFW’s new Deputy Director for Administration, Debbie Colbert. Colbert currently serves as Administrator of the Field Services Division for the Oregon Department of Water Resources. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the dedicated staff at ODFW to provide fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities and to protect Oregon’s fish and wildlife,” said Colbert.; Colbert begins working at ODFW on Jan. 6, 2010.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly and the next meeting is Jan. 8, 2010 at ODFW Headquarters in Salem. Agenda item exhibits may be requested by calling the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.

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Contacts:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022 / (503) 931-2748 

Fax: (503) 947-6009
 
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