May 10, 2013
SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting today made official the 2013 ocean salmon and Pacific halilbut seasons, including several fisheries that opened earlier in this month under temporary rules.
The Commission adopted regulations for ocean coho and chinook salmon fishing in Oregon’s territorial waters that are in line with the seasons set by Pacific Fisheries Management Council in April for ocean waters beyond three miles.
If the strong salmon returns predicted for the Sacramento, Klamath and Columbia rivers materialize, sport and commercial anglers should enjoy good fishing under seasons very similar to those in 2012. This year’s fisheries also include an opportunity for sport anglers to harvest wild coho in September south of Cape Falcon.
The 2013 sport ocean salmon seasons adopted today are posted on the ODFW website, and were approved by NOAA Fisheries effective May 1.
The Commission also set 2013 sport and commercial Pacific halibut seasons that are concurrent with those recently adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and NOAA Fisheries.
The 2013 seasons include a handful of changes 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 nearshore fishery has become increasingly popular in recent years and, as a result, the harvest quota has been met long before the scheduled closure on Oct. 1.
The 2013 Pacific halibut sport seasons are available on the ODFW website.
The Commission approved the 2013 commercial sardine season and a number of administrative rule changes for commercial ocean fisheries.
Finally, the Commission adopted 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 in Tigard to allow additional time for public review.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The next meeting will be June 6 and 7 in Tigard.