October 4, 2013
NEWPORT, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved a new fishing endorsement that will be required for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon fishing on the Columbia and Snake rivers, and their tributaries, beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
An annual endorsement will cost $9.75 when purchased with a fishing, and $1 per day for daily licenses and will be required on all rivers within the Columbia River Basin when fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon. This includes all rivers and tributaries in the Willamette, Central and Northeast angling zones, and a handful of Columbia River tributaries in the Northwest Zone.
Money from the endorsement will help fund the transition of non-tribal commercial gill nets out of the mainstem Columbia River, freeing up additional salmon and steelhead for sport fishing. The endorsement was authorized by the Oregon Legislature to help fund a package of Columbia River fish management and reform actions adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and their Washington counterparts.
The new endorsement is required beginning Jan. 1, 2014 and will go on sale beginning Dec. 1, 2013. Additional information about the genesis of the endorsement and its geographic scope can be found on the ODFW website.
The Commission also set the 2014 Big Game Regulations. There are no major changes from the 2013 regulations, but several small adjustments were adopted. These include:
- Deleting and adding several bighorn sheep hunts, to account for shifting populations.
- Adding or deleting several controlled deer and elk hunts in response to property damage or population changes.
- Expanding Jackson Travel Management Area (TMA) by 12 square miles.
- Creating a new Meacham TMA in Umatilla and Union Counties (41 square miles of Hancock Forest Management lands near town of Meacham) which would open three days prior to archery deer and elk seasons.
- Allowing use of nontoxic round balls or nontoxic conical bullets with a density similar to lead during muzzleloader seasons.
- Removing Alsea and Trask from units where archers and hunters with disabilities may take an antlerless elk, due to elk populations being below management objective.
The Commission also adopted rules to implement recently passed legislation enabling nonresident uniformed personnel to hunt or fish in Oregon for same cost as residents, and to raise the agent fee for non-resident hunting licenses and tags from $2 to $10.
A proposed discussion on the use of crossbow by some hunters with disabilities was postponed until a later meeting.
In other business, the Commission adopted measures to:
- Delegate authority to the ODFW Director to appoint members to the Commercial Fisheries Permit Board under specific circumstances.
- Revise to the crab quality criteria used to open the commercial ocean Dungeness crab season. The commercial crab season can be delayed beyond the traditional Dec. 1 opener in order to increase the likelihood of harvesting good quality crab at the beginning of the season.
- Acquire of the Rooke-Higgins boat ramp property in order to provide much-needed public boating access to the Millacoma River. The $250,000 purchase will be funded by grants from the Oregon State Marine Board and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration program.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The six-member panel meets monthly. The next meeting is Dec. 6 in Portland.