TILLAMOOK, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting to discuss new temporary fishing regulations and other issues related to management of recreational salmon fishing in the Nehalem River basin.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pine Grove Community Center, located at 225 Laneda Ave., in Manzanita.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s recent decision to close the Nehalem River and its tributaries to chinook salmon fishing this year. The season was closed last month in response to information that indicated that the recent downward trend in the number of chinook returning to the Nehalem basin would continue in 2009, perhaps to record low levels.
Related topics that will also be discussed at the July 15 meeting will include a planned public outreach campaign highlighting other angling opportunities in the Nehalem basin, plus details of an upcoming research project that scientists hope will provide additional information on the number of spawning chinook returning to the basin each year.
“We recognize the closure of the chinook season may have adverse impacts on the local economy,” said Chris Knutsen, district fish biologist for ODFW’s North Coast Watershed. “We are doing everything we can to let folks know that there are other great fishing and outdoor opportunities in the Nehalem area.”
One of the opportunities that ODFW is currently highlighting is the large forecasted number of hatchery coho salmon that are returning to the Nehalem basin this year. Another is a new wild coho season that will open on the Nehalem and three other coastal rivers in September, pending final approval from NOAA Fisheries.
“We want to hear any remaining concerns from the public regarding the closure of the summer and fall chinook salmon season,” said Knutsen. “We also want the local community to know that ODFW is actively promoting other outdoor recreational opportunities in the Nehalem basin.”