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Commission adopts MOU with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Grand Ronde tribal members
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde tribal members
See more photos from today's Commission meeting.
-Photos by Bob Swingle, ODFW-

August 4, 2023 

SALEM, Ore.— After hearing several hours of testimony from members of Grand Ronde and other Tribes for and against, the Commission voted 4-3 to adopt a Memorandum of Agreement with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.  

The agreement is similar to agreements adopted with four other Tribes in western Oregon and advances the government-to-government relationship between the Tribe and the State of Oregon. Tribal members will be able to participate in subsistence and ceremonial hunting, fishing, shellfishing, and trapping licensed by Grand Ronde, within a limited geographic area, in partnership with ODFW and the Oregon State Police. Annual harvest limits and areas for harvest by tribal members would be set by mutual consent between the Tribe and ODFW. The state and the Tribe would also work as partners to develop and implement plans to protect, restore and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitats.  

The Commission also took the following actions today: 
Adopted Private Forest Accord Mitigation Fund Rules: Established a PFA mitigation grant program and adopted rules to solicit, review and award funding, per Private Forest Accord legislation passed by the 2022 Oregon State Legislature. Grants will fund projects that mitigate the impacts of forest practices on aquatic species covered by Oregon Department of Forestry's anticipated Habitat Conservation Plan. 

Adopted 2024-25 Sport Fishing Regulations: The Commission adopted regulations as proposed, see the list of changes at https://myodfw.com/articles/2024-fishing-regulations Regulations will now be adopted every other year, meaning the next Sport Fishing Regulations booklet will be in effect for 2024 and 2025. There are fewer regulation changes each year since ODFW completed a regulation simplification process several years ago, and in-season regulation changes are posted online at MyODFW.com.  

Commercial crab fishery rulemaking: The Commission adopted rules to reduce marine life entanglements in the ocean commercial Dungeness crab fishery as proposed by staff, which will help provide conservation benefits to protected species and maintain a sustainable Oregon crab fishery. Existing marine life risk reduction measures that were scheduled to sunset after the 2022-2023 season were extended with no sunset date. These include a 20 percent pot limit reduction and closure outside of 40 fathoms starting May 1 each season, and a late season tag requirement. New risk-reduction regulations pertaining to the amount of surface gear allowed and retention of crab from derelict pots were also adopted. Finally, industry-requested efficiency measures allowing buoy tags to be changed at sea and exceptions to the late-season tags requirement when only fishing in another state were adopted. Commissioners also requested that the rules be reviewed after two years. The new regulations take effect the start of the next crab season.   
 
Whale entanglements started to increase in 2014 along the West Coast but remained low and stable in Oregon. Humpback whales, a federally-listed species with a growing population off the West coast, are the whales most frequently entangled.  

A recording of the meeting is available at ODFW’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MXjmEfbUkc  

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Contact:

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

 
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