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Commission meets online Sept. 11

September 04, 2020

SALEM, Ore.—The Commission will meet virtually on Friday, Sept. 11 to consider crabbing regulations that would reduce the risk of whale entanglement and adopt 2021 Big Game Hunting Regulations.

For the full agenda, see https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/20/09_Sep/index.asp

The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and will be livestreamed via ODFWs YouTube page; watch the livestream at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/

To testify on one of the agenda topics via Zoom, please register no later than 48 hours in advance (by Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 8 a.m.) by submitting this form online https://odfw.wufoo.com/forms/commission-meeting-witness-registration/ 

During Friday’s meeting, the Commission will review and consider funding for several projects recommended by the Conservation and Recreational Advisory Committee. The proposed projects implement the Oregon Conservation Strategy and connect people with the outdoors, and would be funded by donations to the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund. This is the first round of projects under this new program.

Next, Commissioners will hear recommendations on regulations to reduce the risk of whale entanglements in the Dungeness crab fishery. Commissioners were briefed on this topic in 2019 and in August 2020, and will now consider adopting regulations. Recommendations include reducing commercial pot limits by 20 percent during the late season (after May 1, when there is less participation in the fishery but whales are more likely to be in Oregon waters) and elimination of the two-week gear clean-up period when the commercial season ends in mid-August. 

The Commission will be asked to approve recommendations for funding Access and Habitat projects, which open public hunting access on private land or improve wildlife habitat. They will also be asked to amend the minimum bid for deer and elk auction tags.

The last item on the meeting agenda is adoption of the 2021 Big Game Hunting Regulations, including potential changes to archery deer season in Eastern Oregon and West Cascade elk season. Staff are proposing to change the structure of archery deer hunting in Eastern Oregon from general to controlled seasons. Mule deer populations have declined by nearly 50 percent in the last 40 years and biologists believe having no limits on archery harvest is no longer a responsible management approach. Moving to a controlled season will allow a more targeted approach to harvest and also ensure that any necessary tag reductions in the future are equitable between all hunting opportunities. Archery deer hunting in Western Oregon will continue as a general season opportunity.

ODFW will also propose that West Cascade Elk Any Legal Weapon seasons be moved three weeks later to improve hunt quality, meaning the 2021 season would open the day after general deer season closes and run Nov. 6-12. This change will also eliminate the seven-day break during general deer season in the Cascades.

After hearing some hunters advocate for the use of crossbows to hunt big game for years, staff is proposing to allow them for hunting big game during “any legal weapon" seasons for big game (when rifles, bows, handguns, and other weapons are also allowed). Crossbows would remain prohibited for all hunters during archery seasons.

For more details on these proposals, visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/20/09_Sep/index.asp

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Contact:

Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748, Michelle.N.Dennehy@odfw.oregon.gov

 
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