NEWPORT, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold six public meetings on the Oregon coast to discuss possible changes to the groundfish open-access fisheries rules that may reduce the number of commercial fishing boats.
The meetings will take place Aug. 20 in Astoria, Aug. 21 in Tillamook and Newport, Aug. 25 in Brookings, and Aug. 26 in Port Orford and North Bend.
The meetings will gather comments and answer questions on a proposed change to convert current open-access commercial groundfish fishery on the West Coast to a federal limited-entry permitted fishery, possibly reducing the size of the fishing fleet. This fishery lands primarily sablefish (sometimes called black cod) but also lands rockfish and lingcod. ODFW staff members will gather input from all constituent groups so they can better represent Oregon during the September meeting of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) in Boise.
Transitioning the current open-access groundfish fishery into one where participation is limited by a federal permit is a goal of the PFMC. The council's objective is to bring the current open-access participants into the limited-entry program and reduce the participants to those who are most dependent on and committed to the fishery. The PFMC has already set a control date of Sept. 13, 2006, which may be used to decide eligibility requirements for a new limited-entry program.
The times and places of the meetings are:
- Astoria, 7 to 9 p.m., Aug. 20, at the Holiday Inn Express, 204 W. Marine Dr., Astoria.
- Tillamook, 1 to 3 p.m., Aug. 21, Shilo Inn Suites, 2515 N. Main St., Tillamook.
- Newport, 7 to 9 p.m., Aug. 21, Best Western – Agate Beach Inn, 3019 N. Coast Highway, Newport.
- Brookings, 7 to 9 p.m., Aug. 25, Best Western – Beachfront Inn, 16008 Boat Basin Rd.
- Port Orford, 1 to 3 p.m., Aug. 26, Port Orford City Library, 15th Street and Highway 101.
- North Bend, 7 to 9 p.m., Aug. 26, North Bend Library, 1800 Sherman Ave.
For more information please contact Gway Kirchner or Carla Sowell at 541-867-4741. Or visit http://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/gffmp/gfa22.html.