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Commission sets Jan. 1, 2022 as control date for growing commercial market squid fishery

February 18, 2022

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today set Jan. 1, 2022 as the control date should they consider a limited entry structure for the growing commercial market squid fishery in the future.

Commercial market squid is a relatively new fishery for Oregon but growing in popularity, leading to concerns about sustainability of the resource. If the Commission decides to change it from an open access to limited entry fishery in the future, only commercial fishermen participating before Jan. 1, 2022 could be considered for permits that are allocated based on historical participation.

The Commission also directed ODFW staff to come back with a proposal to prohibit light boats in the fishery beginning in 2023. For more information about other regulations adopted for the fishery today including net size regulations, see the agenda item or the market squid section of the commercial fishing website where regulations will be posted next week

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde that allows enrolled Tribal Members to harvest shellfish under a special gathering permit (rather than a recreational shellfish license) in the Trask Unit and the ocean adjacent to the unit including Tillamook Bay.

"To be able to return to our fishing grounds and to harvest shellfish under a Tribal permit is something that will support us for generations to come," said Grand Ronde Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy.

Under the new agreement, Tribal members harvesting under the new permit would still follow Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations regarding species, daily bag limits, sizes, harvest methods and seasons. More information is available at

The Commission denied a petition requesting a Declaratory Ruling regarding North Umpqua summer steelhead hatchery smolt releases for 2022. In fall 2021, ODFW staff began a comprehensive analysis of wild summer steelhead health in the Umpqua Basin. The analysis is looking broadly at all factors that could be contributing to the decline of wild summer steelhead including hatchery fish, fires, non-native species, streamflow temp and ocean conditions.

Staff plan to present the analysis to the Commission at their April 2022 meeting. Based on that analysis, staff may recommend changes in management, including for the hatchery program and release of smolts this spring.

The Commission also:
Adopted an updated 10-year Culvert Repair Programmatic Agreement (CRPA) which allows ODOT to make temporary repairs to state highway system culverts if a significant fish passage improvement can be provided. The agreement allows more flexibility to implement short term repairs at failing culverts while giving ODOT more time to plan for replacement of culverts (when full fish passage requirements are applied). As part of the agreement, ODOT is required to contribute monies into a Fish Passage Compensation Fund, which is used to address high priority fish passage issues statewide. Many priority barriers have had fish passage restored thanks to the funds created under the CRPA since this program was first established.

Amended rules to increase shellfish transport biosecurity: Oregon is home to about 20 shellfish mariculture facilities (e.g., shellfish farms). Transport of shellfish can inadvertently spread unwanted pests, viruses, and pathogens—including the Oyster Herpes Virus microvariant-1 (OsHV-1) which causes high mortality rates in shellfish and was detected in cultivated Pacific Oysters in San Diego, Calif. in 2019. The new regulations tighten transport rules to protect Oregon's mariculture industry and shellfish including updating activities and definitions of species groups that require a permit; updating required information for permit; and identifying shellfish pathologists approved to certify shellfish health.

Adopts rules for regional dry maintenance time periods, with a check-in planned in two years: In keeping with HB 2437 passed by the 2019 Oregon State Legislature, the Commission adopted a part of these new rules that simplify the regulatory process for maintaining channels used for agricultural drainage. ODFW's role in the regulatory process (which is primarily managed by ODA) was to establish regional dry maintenance time periods for removal of material. The time periods adopted are designed to minimize potential impacts during the most vulnerable life stages of fish and wildlife species including migration, spawning and rearing in the channels and adjacent waterways and also consider the effect of sedimentation on species downstream of the channels. The Commission asked that staff managing the program check in after about two years to assess how the program is doing.

The Commission also heard updates on the current population status of lower Columbia River white sturgeon and a review of 2021 sturgeon fisheries.

The Commission's next meeting is March 18 online.



Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748,

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