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Commission meets Sept. 14-15 in Bend to consider rules to prohibit coyote killing contests

September 8, 2023

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will tour several locations in the Bend area on Thursday, Sept. 14 and hold a meeting at the 7th Mountain Resort in Bend on Friday, Sept. 15.

At 1 p.m. on Friday, Commissioners will consider rules to prohibit contests for the taking of coyotes and other unprotected mammals. Given the level of interest in this topic and to provide those who want to testify a chance to do so, testimony will be limited to two minutes or possibly one minute.

See the tour itinerary and meeting agenda and watch a livestream of Friday's meeting at

To testify on one of the Friday meeting's agenda items remotely, register at least 48 hours in advance (by Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 8 a.m.) at

To testify in person, sign up at the meeting using the paper forms provided. Comments can also be emailed to

A public forum for people to comment on topics not on the agenda is scheduled for Friday morning after the Director's report. To participate in the public forum, you must contact the ODFW Director's office at (503) 947-6044 or email by Wednesday Sept. 13 at 8 a.m. (48 hours prior to the meeting).

Thursday's tour includes stops to tour the High Desert Museum and discussion of updates to the Mule Deer Management Plan, Sierra Nevada red fox research, Oregon spotted frog management and other issues. Members of the public may join the tour but must provide their own transportation and lunch. Meet in the lobby at the 7th Mountain Resort, 1875 SW Century Drive, Bend by 7:40 a.m. to join the tour.

The Commission's decision-making agenda items on Friday are:

Access & Habitat(A&H) program: The Commission will be asked to approve funding for two projects that improve road closure enforcement on existing A&H access areas.

Tillamook cockle bay clam commercial harvest quota: The Commission will consider adoption of an annual catch limit of 90,000 pounds, which is based on a harvest level of 12 percent of the current stock estimate. A landing cap was originally adopted in 2021 after effort and harvest increased dramatically in 2019 and 2020.

Terminal ocean salmon fisheries in nearshore waters adjacent to Elk/Sixes Rivers: Recreational and commercial fisheries have not occurred in this area since 2018 due to low Chinook returns. With an improved forecasted return for the Elk River this year, ODFW staff recommend the Commission reinstate a limited commercial and recreational terminal ocean fishery for Chinook salmon from Nov. 1-30.

Prohibit contests for the taking of unprotected mammals: This agenda item will begin at 1 p.m. and public testimony will be limited to two minutes (or potentially one minute) so everyone who wishes to testify has an opportunity. In December 2022, the Commission denied a petition while directing ODFW staff to develop rules to stop coyote killing contests in a way that is consistent with their regulatory authority. The proposed rules up for adoption would establish a definition for contests and make it unlawful to organize, sponsor, conduct, or participate in a contest that has the objective of killing unprotected mammals native to Oregon.

Adopt updated rules for the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP) Advisory Committee (STAC): The administrative rules for STEP were last updated in 1986, and revisions are necessary for STEP to adapt to listings under the Endangered Species Act, which were not in place at the time the original rules were written. The new rules will also align with policies and plans that govern the management of fisheries resources in Oregon adopted since the original rules were written including the Native Fish Conservation Policy and Hatchery Management Policy. These updates do not reduce or diminish the ability of volunteers to participate in STEP projects that restore Oregon's salmon and trout resources.

Adopt 2024 Big Game Regulations and set tag numbers: The Commission will consider staff recommendations with few major changes proposed for 2024 beyond some hunts being deleted and new ones being added. Tag numbers will be similar to 2023.

Minam Land Acquisition: The Commission will consider approval of Phase II of the acquisition to add 10,964 acres to the Minam River Wildlife Area, including almost six miles of the Minam River and adjacent Minam River trail. The primary funding will come from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation private donations ($3.5M) and a USDA Forest Legacy Program grant ($9.7M). The area (about 30 miles northeast of La Grande in Wallowa and Union counties) is of high conservation and recreation value and will allow hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and other outdoor activities. As with other state wildlife areas, ODFW will pay fire protection fees and "in-lieu" of property taxes on the property to maintain county tax revenue.



Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748,

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