|The 2009 Upland Game Bird Stamp art contest winner: a ruffed grouse painting by Kreig Jacque of Riverside, Iowa.
SALEM, Ore. –The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission met today and were briefed on options for the upcoming sport and commercial ocean salmon season. The Pacific Marine Fishery Council, which manages ocean fisheries off the coast of Oregon, Washington and California, has predicted a large run of coho salmon this year and the fishery options it has proposed are all a substantial improvement in fishing opportunities over last year.
The PFMC will hold a public meeting on March 30 in Coos Bay to consider these options and will make final decisions on 2009 ocean salmon seasons at an April 4-9 meeting in San Francisco. The Commission will be asked to adopt similar regulations at the April 17 meeting in Corvallis. The Commission has historically adopted federal regulations without change.
In other business, the Commission approved 11 Restoration and Enhancement projects totaling $131,042 to improve or enhance fishing opportunities. These projects ranged from $8,600 for a genetic study of chinook salmon on the Imnaha River to over $20,000 for a new floating dock on Cheadle Lake in Lebanon. More information about the R&E program and projects is available on the R&E website.
The Commission approved $95,238 in funding for eight Access and Habitat projects that will provide the public with hunting access to and/or improve wildlife habitat on private land. Two of the projects are new and involve land in the Sumpter and Mt. Emily wildlife management units while the other six are reauthorizations of existing A&H projects. More information about the new properties will be available on the A&H website and Oregon Hunting Access Map in April.
Other Commission rulemaking included approval of a fish passage waiver for an Oregon Department of Transportation project on Tuttle Creek off U.S. Hwy 101. With the waiver approval, ODOT will make up for the loss of passage on Tuttle Creek with increased passage on nearby Joe Hall Creek.
Finally, the Commission selected a ruffed grouse painting by Kreig Jacque of Riverside, Iowa as the winner of the 2009 Upland Game Bird Stamp art contest. Jacque will be awarded $3,000 while ODFW will retain exclusive rights to his artwork.
The art will be featured on this year’s upland bird stamps, which will be available to collectors nationwide for $6.50 beginning this fall. Proceeds from these sales benefit the management of upland game birds in Oregon. Hunters that purchase an upland bird validation can also request a stamp at no extra charge by filling out a form in the 2009-2010 Oregon Game Bird Regulations, also available this fall.
A total of 18 paintings were entered for this year, and Jacque’s work was one of five selected as a finalist by a panel of judges that included wildlife biologists and artists. The judges were: James Houk, project leader, Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Kraig Paulson, regional biologist, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever; Christine Swanson, winner of the 2008 Oregon Federal Jr. Duck Stamp Competition and a high school student from Beaverton; and her mother Suzanne Swanson.
Jacque is an avid bird hunter who grew up hunting, fishing and enjoying the outdoors of northeast Iowa. In 2007, he won Oregon’s upland bird stamp contest for his depiction of a ring-necked pheasant. To see his work, visit http://www.visionsofwildlife.com/
Artists are encouraged to enter next year’s contest by submitting original artwork of sage grouse. Criteria for judging submissions include artistic composition and the anatomical accuracy of the art. The deadline to enter is Dec. 31, 2009. Visit the Upland Game Bird Art Contest website for more information.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon.