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Commission meets Jan. 12 in Salem to discuss recruitment of new ODFW director

January 5, 2024

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission meets Friday, Jan. 12 beginning at 8 a.m. at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem.

See the meeting agenda and watch a livestream of the meeting at

The only agenda item for the meeting is recruitment of a new ODFW director. Earlier this week, longtime director Curt Melcher announced his retirement effective April 2024.

To testify remotely about this agenda item, register on the agenda page at least 48 hours in advance (by Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 8 a.m.). To testify in person, sign up at the meeting using the paper forms provided. Comments can also be emailed to

To testify about an issue that is not on the agenda during the public forum section of the meeting after the Director’s report, send an email to at least 48 hours in advance (by Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 8 a.m.). The email should include your name, city of residence, any group you are representing and the topic you want to discuss.

During the Director’s Report, the Commission will hear reports about how ocean hypoxia affects fish behavior and a financial report.

After the Director’s Report, the Commission will consider options for recruiting a new agency director and may select criteria relevant to the recruitment.

"The Commission will work closely with Governor Kotek's Natural Resources Office to recruit a new ODFW Director," Wahl said in the announcement about Melcher’s retirement. "We seek a director with a strong record protecting and managing our fish, wildlife and habitat assets, and one who will be an exceptional leader creating a vision for ODFW's work that meets the challenges Oregon faces from accelerating climate change and biodiversity loss impacts, and threats to our cold water sources."

The Commission may also have an executive session during Friday’s meeting. Under Oregon state law, executive sessions are closed to the public. Representatives of the news media are allowed to attend. Reporters are directed not to report on the discussions during executive session, except to state the general subject. No decisions will be made in executive session.

The executive session is held pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(e), (2)(f) and (2)(h), which allows the Commission to meet in executive session to conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to negotiate real property transactions, to consider information or records that are exempt by law from public inspection, and to consult with legal counsel with respect to litigation filed against the Commission.

The Executive Session is held pursuant to ORS 192.660(2) (i) to review and evaluate the employment-related performance of the chief executive officer of any public body, a public officer, employee, or staff member who does not request an open hearing.


Contact: Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748,
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4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE   ::   Salem, OR 97302   ::    Main Phone (503) 947-6000 or (800) 720-ODFW [6339]

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