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Commission meets in Ontario Oct. 10-11

Friday, October 4, 2019

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will tour parts of southeast Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 10 and host their monthly meeting Friday, Oct. 11 at the Four Rivers Cultural Center, Malheur and Snake River rooms, 676 SW 5th Ave., Ontario.

The meeting and tour agenda is available online at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/19/10_Oct/index.asp

To join the Thursday tour, which includes stops discussing sage-grouse habitat and fire impacts and local Access and Habitat projects, be at the Holiday Inn Express lobby, 212 SE 10th Street, by 8:15 a.m. M.T. on Thursday, Oct. 10. Members of the public may join the tour but must provide their own transportation and lunch.

Friday’s meeting begins at 8 a.m. M.T. The Commission will be asked to approve rules establishing the Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee and expenditures from the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund. The 2019 Oregon State Legislature passed HB 2829 to create this Fund to conserve and manage Oregon’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats. The bill was based on the recommendations of a Task Force created by the 2015 Oregon State Legislature that explored alternative funding for fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation.

The Commission will be asked to approve fee adjustments for 2020, including changes to license fees. These changes were approved by the 2015 Oregon State Legislature. ODFW typically increases fees every six years, but in the last six-year cycle (2016-2022), opted for smaller increases every two years. The 2020 increase will be the final one in the cycle. The cost of annual adult resident licenses will increase by a few dollars—for example, a hunting license increases by $1 to $34.50. Youth license costs remain the same.

The Commission will be asked to adjust rules related to the disposition of elk taken on damage, as part of a larger effort to address elk damage issues by ODFW, landowners and the Legislature. One tool available in certain situations (such as when non-lethal tools aren’t working and hunting seasons are closed) is a “kill permit.” Statewide, 50 or fewer of these permits are issued each year and currently require the landowner to deliver the elk to a charitable organization. The proposed rules balance the required burden on the landowner to process the elk with the ability for the landowner or agents to retain an elk carcass while still prioritizing delivery to charitable organizations such as food banks.

Finally, the Commission will be asked to extend the dates of current sturgeon angling closures in the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day Reservoirs to include the month of August (currently the closure dates are May 1-July 31). The change would extend the closure to the critical post-spawn recovery period and reduce handling of oversized white sturgeon during this vulnerable period. Staff proposals would also extend the boundary of the John Day Reservoir sanctuary to include an area from the McNary dam downstream 13.5 miles, protecting a substantial portion of spawning sturgeon in this reservoir. Finally, staff propose to close sturgeon retention in McNary Reservoir (the area would remain open to catch-and-release during those seasons) due to limited data and ability to monitor this area.

A public forum will be held Friday morning after the Director’s report for people who wish to testify about an issue not on the formal meeting agenda. Call the ODFW Director’s office at least 48 hours before the meeting at (503) 947-6044 to schedule.

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Contact:

Adam Baylor, (503) 930-7116, adam.c.baylor@state.or.us
Michelle Dennehy, (503) 947-6022, michelle.n.dennehy@state.or.us

 
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