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Fish and Wildlife Commission approve spring chinook and sturgeon seasons

   

Date:

February 20, 2009

Contact:

Richard Hargrave (503) 947-6020
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023                                                                          
Fax: (503) 947-6009

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved the fishing season for spring chinook salmon in the Columbia River that were set by the Columbia River Compact earlier this month.

Permanent rules are in place through February 28. The seasons adopted today will take effect March 1.

The following seasons were set:

Mainstem Columbia River from the Hayden Island powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam

  • March 1 through March 22 open seven-days-a-week
  • March 25 through April 22 open four-days-a-week (Wed. - Sat.)
  • Two adipose fin-clipped salmon or steelhead, but only one may be a chinook
  • The mainstem Columbia will be open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and shad only during days and seasons open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring chinook

Mainstem Columbia River below the Hayden Island powerlines

  • March 1 through March 15 open seven-days-a-week
  • March 19 – April 18 open three-days-a-week (Thurs. – Sat.)
  • Two adipose fin-clipped salmon or steelhead, but only one may be a chinook
  • The mainstem Columbia will be open for retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and shad only during days and seasons open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring chinook

Willamette River (downstream of Willamette Falls)

  • March 1 through March 15 open seven-days-a-week
  • March 19 – April 30 open three-days-a-week (Thurs. – Sat.) for spring chinook, and open for retention of steelhead under permanent rule for the remainder of the week (Sun – Wed)
  • The daily bag limit will be two adult adipose fin-clipped salmon or steelhead, but only one may be a chinook 
  • These rules apply to the Willamette downstream from Willamette Falls, including Multnomah Channel and the lower Clackamas River downstream of the Highway 99 Bridge.  

Willamette Tributaries

  • The Willamette River, upstream of Willamette Falls and the Clackamas River upstream of the highway 99 bridge will remain open under permanent rules

The Commission also approved permanent rules that set a 2009 recreational sturgeon season on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers as follows:

In the estuary below the Wauna powerlines

  • January 1 through April 30, seven-days-a-week
  • May 9 through June 28, seven-days-a-week
  • July 2 through July 5
  • 38-inch minimum fork length January through April, 41-inch minimum fork length remainder of season

From Wauna Powerlines to Bonneville Dam (including the lower Willamette River)

  • Retention is allowed three-days-a-week (Thurs. – Sat.) during the months of January through July and October through December
  • Retention prohibited August through September

From Bonneville to McNary Dam

  • Sturgeon retention is allowed seven –days-a-week with reservoir specific quotas
  • The annual quota for The Dalles pool 2009-2011 fishery was raised from 100 to 300 fish per year

The Commission approved the implementation of the 25-Year Angling Enhancement Plan. The plan will provide a framework and strategy to guide the agency’s recruiting and retention efforts regarding recreational fishing opportunities.

“I encourage staff to continue working inside and outside of the agency to put in place some of the great initiatives that are included in the plan,” said Commissioner Dan Edge.

The Commission approved the appointment of Gordon Summers to the Fish Screening Task Force.  Summers, a rancher from Halfway, will represent agricultural interests in promoting fish screen installation.

In other business, the Commission received a briefing on the preliminary results from a survey on the economic impact of hunting, fishing, shellfish harvest and wildlife viewing.  The survey was developed through a collaborative effort by ODFW and Travel Oregon.

Preliminary results show that residents and non-residents spent $862-million on hunting, fishing, shellfish and wildlife viewing related travel.  This includes spending on fuel, lodging, groceries, meals, retail purchases and other travel expenses associated with the trip.  The $862-million spent on hunting, fishing, shellfish and wildlife viewing travel is about 10% of all travel spending in Oregon.

Residents also spent another $147-million on trips closer to home and nearly $1.5-billion on equipment associated with hunting, fishing, shellfish and wildlife viewing.  

“This survey shows us Oregonians spend a lot of time and money fishing, hunting, crabbing, clamming and watching wildlife,” said Roger Fuhrman, Information and Education Administrator.   “Fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and shellfish is an important part of Oregon’s economy, especially in rural areas.” 

On Thursday, the commissioners toured several facilities in the Astoria area including some select area fisheries, and crab and fish processing plants.

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.

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