April 30, 2013
SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider the 2013 ocean salmon and halibut seasons when it meets in Salem on May 10. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at ODFW Headquarters in Salem, 3406 Cherry Ave NE.
The Commission will be asked to adopt regulations for ocean coho and chinook salmon fishing in Oregon’s territorial waters from shore to three miles out. The seasons for ocean waters beyond three miles were set by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in early April and the Commission will be asked to adopt similar regulations for state waters.
Recreational and commercial troll chinook salmon fishing on the central and south coast looks especially good thanks to strong returns to the Sacramento and Klamath rivers. Anglers on the north coast also can expect good returns of chinook to the Columbia River.
Managers are also predicting a strong Oregon coastal wild coho return and the opportunity for sport anglers to harvest wild coho in September south of Cape Falcon.
The proposed 2013 sport ocean salmon seasons are posted on the ODFW website, and were approved by NOAA Fisheries effective May 1.
The Commission also will be asked to adopt 2013 sport and commercial Pacific halibut seasons that are concurrent with those recently adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and NOAA Fisheries.
The Halibut Commission approved a sport and commercial Pacific halibut quota of 990,000 pounds for 2013 for the U.S. West Coast, a 1,000 pound increase from 2012. In addition, the Halibut Commission and NOAA Fisheries adopted some changes to the Columbia River and Central Coast subareas that will affect Oregon anglers. In the Columbia River subarea the early season will remain open until 80 percent of subarea’s quota is reached, rather than automatically closing the third Sunday in July. Sport fishing days also will change from Thursday through Saturday to Friday to Sunday.
Both of these changes are designed to give anglers more opportunity to harvest the entire early season quota, something that has not happened in recent years.
In the Central Coast Subarea nearshore (inside 40 fathoms)sport fishery, the days open will be reduced from seven days a week to Thursday through Saturday in order to extend the season later into the summer months.
The proposed 2013 Pacific halibut sport season are available on the ODFW website.
The Commission will be asked to set the 2013 commercial sardine season and consider a number of administrative rule changes for the commercial ocean fisheries.
Finally, the Commission will be asked to adopt a permanent rule that specifies that in the case of an unattended vehicle on an ODFW wildlife area which requires a parking permit, a citation will be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle.
The Commission was scheduled to revisit Columbia River fish management and reform rules adopted by the Commission in December 2012 and the fiscal impact statement informing those rules. However, at the request of stakeholders this topic is being deferred to the June 6-7 meeting to allow additional time for public input. The fiscal impact statement can be found on the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/LMCR_fisheries_mgmt_reform.asp. Additional materials for the June 6-7 Commission meeting will be posted on the ODFW website about one week before the meeting.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.
Public testimony for issues not on the formal agenda will be held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons seeking to testify on such issues 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.
Members of the public who can’t attend the Commission meeting in-person can follow the proceedings via live video streaming (requires Adobe Flash). The full meeting agenda and link to video streaming are on the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/13/01_jan/index.asp.