SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to prohibit cervid ranchers from knowingly selling “shooter bulls” to facilities in states that allow the hunting of privately-held wildlife, as part of its formal rule-making on the state’s cervid ranching rules (OAR 635-049-0000).
“Any kind of hunting operation that is not under the guise of fair chase is a threat to the fraternity of hunting,” said Dr. Dan Edge, Commission Vice-Chair and head of OSU’s Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife.
The Commission declined to require double-fencing of captive elk ranches and directed staff to consider other alternatives that would make the minimum standard better than the current requirement, such as adding an interior electric fence. It deferred a decision on requiring bonding of elk ranchers to indemnify the state against an escape or disease outbreak.
Before making policy decisions, the Commission heard public testimony from 22 people on both sides of the issue. Because of the complexity and length of the Div. 49 rules, the Commission only provided policy direction today, and asked staff to rewrite proposed rules along those policy lines for formal adoption at the May 9, 2008 meeting in La Grande. No public testimony related to the rules will be taken at this meeting.
Other policies adopted today include:
- Elk ranch licenses will be relinquished if licensee does not hold cervids for more than 180 consecutive days.
- The import of gametes and embryos will be specifically allowed. The ban on the import of live cervids continues.
- Licensees will be responsible for the state’s expenses from an escape or release of captive cervids, though the department has discretion in determining whether to require repayment based on circumstances surrounding the incident.
- Deaths must be reported to ODFW and ODA within 24 hours of discovery; all dead cervids must be tested for disease within 24 hours of discovery.
- License will specify species, subspecies and or hybrid that can be held.
- Policy maintains current limit of 16 Type 1 commercial elk ranching licenses.
- New policy adds decommissioning requirements including perimeter fencing, so wild cervids cannot enter a captive facility until it is deemed disease-free.
“This Commission is not in any way attempting to put anybody out of business,” stated Chair Marla Rae in her summary of the Commission’s policy on elk ranching. “The Oregon State Legislature has already said that the private holding of cervids is a lawful activity. It is up to this Commission and department to regulate that activity so that it does no harm to wildlife populations.”
In keeping with that, the Commission voted to change the overall policy statement of the Commission from one of opposition to commercial elk ranching to one of concern about the unregulated holding of cervids posing a disease or genetic risk to the public’s wildlife.
The Commission also adopted administrative rules formally recognizing the Grande Ronde Indian Tribe’s stewardship of lands under their ownership and management and providing permits for the annual take for ceremonial purposes of 15 deer, 9 elk and three bears outside of regular hunting seasons in the Trask Wildlife Management Unit (portions of Yamhill, Tillamook County).
The Commission authorized the Umpqua Fishermen's Association to release up to 300,000 pre-smolt fall chinook salmon to increase the numbers of adult fall chinook salmon contributing to ocean and Umpqua River fisheries.
The Commission appointed the following individuals were appointed to the Commercial Fishery Permit Board: Jeff Salo, Newberg; Dan Hyduchak, Newport; Frank Tarabochia, Astoria; Gary Soderstrom, Clatskanie; Dan Marvin, Newport; John Alto, Sherwood; Mark Newell, Toledo; Barry Nelson, Winchester Bay; Rex Leach, Coos Bay; Ted Gibson, Newport; Brian Peterson, Dallas; Robert Schones, Siletz; Ira Koker, Toledo; Thomas Nowlin, Coos Bay; Eugene Law, Toledo; Doug Westerlund, Astoria; Craig Wenrick, Pacific City; Paul Meyer, Garibaldi; Jeffrey Miles, Port Orford; Nick Jervovich, Jr., Gig Harbor, Wash.; Ryan Kapp, Bellingham, Wash.; Dana Furgeson, Astoria; Tim Foley, Roseburg; Tom Butterbaugh, Grants Pass; Kevin Hiersche, Gold Beach; Paul Meyer, Garibaldi; Duane Edwards, Newport; Leonard VanCurler, Newport.
The Commission appointed the following individuals to the Developmental Fishery Board: Duane Edwards, Newport; Eric Hooper, Brookings; Scott Hartzell, Florence; Stan Schones, Newport; Leesa Cobb, Port Orford; Mike Erdman, Charleston; Patty Burke, ODFW, Newport; Dalton Hobbs, ODA, Salem; Brad Pettinger, Oregon Trawl Commission; Nick Furman, Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission
The Commission also adopted final management plans for the Ladd Marsh (La Grande) and Klamath (Klamath Falls) Wildlife Areas.
Finally, the Commission adopted 2008 ocean salmon and Columbia River terminal area fishing seasons in keeping with Pacific Fishery Management Council guidelines. Because of very low salmon returns, the Pacific Fishery Management Council closed all ocean commercial and recreational chinook fishing from Cape Falcon south to the California border this year, but did set a limited recreational fishing opportunity for coho salmon off the Oregon coast beginning in late June.
Summary of Recreational Adopted Fisheries
North of Falcon
- Chinook: June 1-28 in Columbia River area
- Coho and chinook: June 29-Sept. 30, Columbia River area
- Quota is 5,300 chinook and 10,180 coho
- Two salmon a day, only one of which may be a chinook
South of Falcon to Ore./Calif. border
- Chinook closed.
- Coho: Open June 22-Aug. 31 seven days per week; bag limit two fin-clipped coho per day; quota of 9,000 fin-clipped coho.
Buoy 10 and Columbia River
Summer chinook open from Tongue Point to Ore./Wash. border above McNary Dam, June 21-28, bag limit two chinook/day.
Buoy 10 to Tongue Point:
- Open for coho beginning Aug. 1.
- Open for chinook Aug. 1-Sept. 1, bag limit one per day.
Tongue Pt to Bonneville:
- Open for coho beginning Aug. 1; retention of chinook only allowed Sept. 1-16 with bag limit of one chinook per day.
- Lewis River Sanctuary (RM 79-87) closed for chinook beginning Aug. 1.
Finally, the Commission adopted rules related to criminal history background checks of employees, in compliance with House Bill 2157 passed by the 2005 Oregon State Legislature.
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 May 8-9 in La Grande. Agenda item exhibits may be requested by calling the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.