September 7, 2012
HERMISTON, Ore. -- The Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved the 2013 sport fishing regulations at its meeting in Hermiston.
The Commission action caps a several month process in which members of the public were invited to submit proposals for regulation changes. This year, 26 proposals from the public were adopted by the Commission.
Among the regulations the Commission adopted today:
- Restricted the use of bait on the McKenzie River from Hayden Bridge upstream to Hendricks Bridge.
- Increased the daily bag limit for smallmouth bass on the Umpqua River.
- Adjusted the daily bag limit on Crane Prairie Reservoir to help create a trophy trout fishery.
- Approved largemouth bass bag limits for Wickiup Reservoir.
- Changed the salmon/steelhead deadline on the Molalla River.
- Established winter fishing opportunities on Lemolo Reservoir.
- Reduced the annual sturgeon catch limit to two.
- Increased daily harvest limit on purple varnish clams to the first 72 taken.
- Established a salmon fishing deadline on the Chetco River to protect spawning chinook.
- Redefined an angling boundary on Rogue River to reflect removal of the Gold Ray Dam.
- Closed to fishing several southeast Oregon Lahontan trout streams affected by recent fires.
A new definition of “artificial lure” that would have included soft molded plastic and rubber worms, eggs and similar bait imitations was rejected by the Commission due to concerns about hooking mortalities to native fish. Soft molded rubber and plastic imitations will continue to be defined as bait.
The written synopsis of the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations will be available beginning Dec. 1. The new rules become effective Jan. 1, 2013.
The Commission approved $262,397 in funding for 12 restoration or enhancement projects recommended by the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board, and $52,280 for two projects recommended by the Access and Habitat Board.
The Commission also was briefed on the rule-making process related to changes in the management of fisheries in the lower Columbia River. The rule-making was begun when Governor John Kitzhaber asked the Commission and ODFW to work with their counterparts in Washington state to develop a new management framework for Columbia River fisheries that prioritizes recreational fisheries while phasing out non-tribal gill nets in the mainstem.
Much of the work will be done by a subcommittee comprised of three commissioners each from the Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife commissions, and eight advisors -- four selected by each commission. Commissioners Bobby Levy, Bob Webber and Michael Finley will represent the Oregon Commission.
The ODFW director will ask the Coastal Conservation Association, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association and Salmon for All to identify Oregon’s two sport and two commercial advisors. The first meeting of the subcommittee is scheduled for Sept. 21 in Olympia, Wash. and a second on Oct. 22 in Portland. Meeting details will be posted on the ODFW website as they become available.
Finally, Chair Levy announced the resignation of Krystyna Wolniakowski, who submitted her letter of resignation to the Governor on Sept. 5. Wolniakowski, Director of the Western Partnership Office of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, was appointed to the Commission by Governor Kitzhaber in June.
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 Oct. 5 in Salem.