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Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet Dec. 3 in Portland

 
November 24, 2010

 

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider expanding parking permit fees to most wildlife areas when it meets on Portland on Dec. 3 at the Ramada Inn and Suites, 6221 NE 82nd Ave.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. and follows this agenda:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/10/12_dec/index.asp

The Commission will be asked to approve a three-year rollout of parking fees at the state’s major wildlife areas. Federal excise taxes on sporting arms and ammunition and hunting license fees currently fund operation and maintenance of these areas but wildlife viewers, hikers, dog-walkers and others increasingly use them. The parking permit revenue will be used to improve habitat and infrastructure and enhance wildlife viewing opportunities at wildlife areas.

Under ODFW staff’s proposal, a $7 daily parking permit and $22 annual permit would be phased in on the following schedule. The annual permit fee would cover parking costs at designated state wildlife areas for the year. Hunting license holders would receive a free permit.

  • Jan. 1, 2012: Denman, E.E. Wilson, Ladd Marsh, Summer Lake (and continuing at Sauvie Island, where fees are already in place)
  • Jan. 1, 2013: Klamath, Fern Ridge, White River, Phillip W. Schneider
  • Jan. 1, 2014: Elkhorn, Columbia Basin, Jewell Meadows

The Commission will consider a change to the daily recreational marine bag limit, which currently allows anglers to keep seven sea bass, snapper, greenling, Pacific cod, skates or cabezon in any combination. The proposed change would limit anglers to one cabezon in the daily bag limit from April 1 through Sept. 30.

The Commission also will consider three issues related to marine commercial fisheries. The first is a change to administrative rules that would allow landings of glazed fish. Glazing is process by which fish are coated with ice on board the fishing vessel. Currently, commercial fish buyers must report the “round” weight (weight before any processing) of all fish received, unless there is an established conversion factor. The new rules would allow commercial buyers to develop conversion factors for glazed fish.

The Commission also will be asked to permanently close the commercial smelt fisheries on the Sandy and Umpqua rivers. Eulachon, a species of smelt, was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Also on the agenda, the Commission will be asked to adopt rules that set minimum standards for bycatch reduction devices in the pink shrimp trawl industry. The change is being proposed to help protect the ESA-listed eulachon, which can be inadvertently caught in the trawl nets.

ODFW staff will ask the Commission to amend administrative rules governing the collection and use of surplus eggs and fish at the department’s fish hatcheries. Hatcheries routinely collect more eggs and raise more fish than will be needed in order to allow for losses due to disease or other factors. The new rules will help minimize the number of surplus eggs and fish by better predicting losses during incubation and rearing.

There are 18 projects totaling $463,393 proposed by the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board which the Commission will be asked to approve. The Commission will also appoint to two new members to the Board to represent sport fishing and gillnetting interests. In addition to the R&E projects, the Commission will be asked to approve nine projects totaling $904,403 proposed by the Access and Habitat Board to expand public hunting access to private land or improve wildlife habitat.

The Commission will provide comments and guidance to staff on the draft plan and forthcoming rules for restoring salmon and steelhead populations in the Upper Willamette Basin. The Upper Willamette River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead spans sub-basins from the Clackamas River to the Middle Fork Willamette River above Willamette Falls, and provides a roadmap for the restoration of salmon and steelhead populations currently listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The plan serves a dual purpose as both a component of the federal ESA recovery plan and as a complete state conservation plan.

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 or by visiting this website:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/

Public testimony is held Thursday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

   

Contact:

Richard Hargrave (503) 947-6020
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023
Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022

 
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