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Game bird hunting, sport fishing regulations set
 
August 5, 2011

 

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission set 2011-12 bird hunting and 2012 sport fishing regulations at their meeting today in Salem.

Migratory bird season dates and bag limits are described in detail online. Oregon hunters will enjoy another maximum-length duck hunting season of 107 days with a seven-duck bag limit like the past several years.

Overall goose bag limits will remain the same as last year, except in Tillamook County where hunters can take an additional dark goose this season.

Hunters will be able to take up to three cacklers/Aleutians in the Northwest General and Permit Zones.  The bag limit restriction for cacklers/Aleutians is relaxed in all other zones.

Snipe season dates in Zone 1 will shift three weeks later in the year, to allow hunting in February.

Upland bird seasons operate under a five-year framework that last changed in 2010, so most of these regulations stayed the same as last year except for standard calendar shifts.

The Blue Mountain controlled fall turkey hunt area was expanded to add the Beulah Unit (except for the Snake River Islands) and available permits increased to 500 (from 400 last year).

Bird hunters that want to apply for a controlled bird hunt may use the mail/fax application available under the Upland Bird or Waterfowl webpages or the online license sales system after 5 p.m. PT today. The deadlines to apply are:

  • Aug. 29 for Sage-grouse
  • Sept. 9 for Klamath Wildlife Area opening weekend
  • Sept. 13 for controlled fall turkey hunts
  • Sept. 18 for Sauvie Island Period A

Changes to the administrative rules for falconry were made, to bring them in line with revised federal regulations.

The Commission was briefed on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Management Plan process. Final plan approval has been delayed due to concerns about a prior proposal to close some areas to hunting dog training for the purpose of conserving grassland habitat for ground nesting bird species. ODFW is forming an advisory group of stakeholders, representing primarily hunting dog training and field trial interests and bird conservationists, to work through this aspect of the plan and provide the department with recommendations.

Fishing regulations and plans

The Commission approved the 2012 Sport Fishing Regulations. Some key changes for 2012 include:

  • The blanket restrictions on all smelt harvest will be replaced with specific restrictions closing only Eulachon smelt, recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
  • The daily bag limit on Diamond Lake will increase from 5 to 8 trout.
  • Fishing for tiger trout will be catch-and-release only. Tiger trout will be introduced into Fish Lake in southwest Oregon and Phillips Reservoir in the northeast to provide  new recreational fisheries. Staff proposed the catch-and-release regulations so they can better evaluate the recreational fishery potential and possible ecological benefits. 

The Commission also changed the process by which the public can suggest changes to the state’s sport fishing regulations. The new five-step public process simplifies the year-long process while allowing for more meaningful public participation. The new process will kick off later this year as part of the 2013 Sport Fishing Regulations development process.

The Commission adopted the Lower Columbia River and Oregon Coast White Sturgeon Conservation Plan. The plan was developed by ODFW staff and a group of interested stakeholders  in response to concerns about the long-term health of white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River. It is the state’s first conservation plan for sturgeon in the Columbia River and related coastal populations, and aims to ensure sturgeon remain healthy and viable, while providing fishing and other societal benefits.

The plan is available on-line.

The Commission also approved Oregon’s plan to restore and conserve salmon and steelhead populations of the upper Willamette River.

The plan and an executive summary are available on-line.

Finally, the Commission appointed three members to the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board. Current Board members Jack Glass of Troutdale and Dixie Boley of Gold Beach were re-appointed to second terms, representing sport fishing and seafood processing interests, respectively. In addition, the Commission appointed John Alto of Sherwood to a first term on the Board representing the troll fishing industry. Alto is a third generation commercial fisherman and is a 25-year veteran of the ocean salmon troll fishery.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

The next meeting is Sept.1 (Thursday) in Seaside.

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Contact:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 931-2748; Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us
Jessica Sall (503) 931-6858; Jessica.Sall@state.or.us

 
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