|Rumreich - Steve Denney, left, awards ODFW STEP biologist Tom Rumreich for his milestone of teaching more than 100,000 kids about fish at Coos County STEP facilities. Also pictured is Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair Marla Rae and ODFW Deputy Director Curt Melcher.
|RockEd - Dave Loomis with the Joseph Merchep Umpqua River Foundation kicks off the groundbreaking ceremony for RockEd, a natural resource educational facility that will be built at Rock Creek Fish Hatchery. Loomis and hatchery manager Dan Meyer have partnered on creation of the facility.
ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted 2010 ocean salmon seasons (pdf) for sport and commercial fisheries keeping with Pacific Fishery Management Council guidelines that were set April 15.
The PFMC approves salmon fishing regulations for ocean waters from three to 200 miles off shore. The Commission approves similar regulations for ocean waters extending three miles from the state’s shoreline.
From Cape Falcon, near Manzanita, south to the California border, PFMC adopted the first significant ocean fisheries for chinook salmon since 2007. However, the approved fisheries will still be restricted because stocks of Sacramento River chinook salmon continue to be weak for the third straight year.
PFMC approved a May 29 through Sept. 6 recreational season for chinook salmon, with fishing allowed for hatchery fin-clipped coho salmon from June 26 through Sept. 6, or until 26,000 coho are landed, whichever comes first.
On January 1, Senate Bill 391 changed the agency responsible for regulating captive, pure-bred gray wolves from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to ODFW. The Commission adopted administrative rules in line with the new responsibility. There are only two active permits regulated by the state of Oregon and rules will continue to allow the two current permit-holders to continue to hold pure-bred gray wolves. No new permit-holders or facilities for pure-bred gray wolves will be permitted by ODFW.
In other business, the Commission adopted rules to allow the department to dispose of shed antlers it acquires. Deer, elk and other ungulates naturally shed their antlers every year in late winter or early spring. Every year ODFW acquires a small number of antlers from its own ongoing operations or from other agencies, such as from Oregon State Police in the aftermath of criminal cases when antlers have been confiscated or from Department of Transportation cleaning up road kill.
The rules will now allow antlers to be donated to non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies for purposes consistent with the agency’s mission, such as for educational displays or to wildlife conservation groups to raise money for habitat projects. The rules also allow the department to sell antlers using state procurement processes.
Also during the meeting, Tom Rumreich was recognized for his service as an ODFW Salmon Trout Enhancement Program biologist. Since 1981, he has taught more than 100,000 Coos County children about fish, significantly increased the Coos Bay fall chinook harvest, and improved fish habitat and passage throughout the Coos, Coquille, and Tenmile watershed basins.
On Thursday, the Commission toured several locations in southwest Oregon including the Rock Creek Hatchery fish ladder project, North Bank Habitat Management Area, and the Winchester Dam.
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.