April 18, 2014
SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider the 2014 sport and commercial halibut seasons when it meets at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 25 in North Bend at the Mill Casino and RV Park, 3201 Tremont Ave.
The Commission will be asked to adopt 2014 sport and commercial Pacific halibut regulations that are concurrent or more conservative with those recently adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. In addition, the Commission will finalize the season dates for the spring all-depth fishery of the Central Coast subarea.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission approved a sport and commercial Pacific halibut quota of 960,000 pounds for 2014 for the U.S. West Coast, a slight decrease from 2013. While the commercial fishery regulations remain the same, there are four changes that affect the sport fisheries:
- In the Columbia River subarea, the open days during the all-depth season have been expanded to include Thursdays.
- Also in the Columbia River subarea, a nearshore fishery has been established to allow more groundfish anglers to retain incidental catches of halibut.
- In the Central Coast subarea, the nearshore fishery will start July 1 instead of May 1 and the number of open days per week increases from three to seven. The goal is to provide more fishing opportunity in July when all-depth fisheries are general closed.
- The former South of Humbug subarea has been separated at the Oregon and California border, and the Oregon portion is now known as the Southern Oregon subarea. As with all other subareas, the Southern Oregon subarea will now close once the quota has been attained.
The proposed 2014 Pacific halibut sport season are on the ODFW website.
Also on the agenda, ODFW staff will brief the Commission on the draft Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan, which describes the conservation status and management actions for the majority of trout, salmon and steelhead populations on the Oregon Coast. The Commission is scheduled to consider adoption of a final plan at the June 2014 meeting.
Other agenda items to be considered by the Commission include:
- A briefing on the 2014 ocean salmon seasons recently adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Several fisheries are currently open under an extension of 2013 rules, and the Commission will be asked to adopt rules for the remainder of the 2014 season at its June meeting.
- Approving $549,930.50 for three restoration and nine enhancement projects recommended by the Restoration and Enhancement Board.
- Hearing a citizen petition to add barramundi as a controlled fish species.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. Public testimony before the Commission is held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda 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.
Richard Hargrave, (503) 947-6020, Richard.J.Hargrave@state.or.us
Jessica Sall, (503) 947-6023, Jessica.Sall@state.or.us