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Commission hears updates on mule deer plan and hatchery resiliency

The Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission. Photos by Bob Swingle, ODFW.

March 15, 2024

ROSEBURG, Ore – At today’s meeting, the Fish and Wildlife Commission heard an update on a hatchery resiliency assessment, which will provide a thorough review of operations, sustainability, and climate vulnerability of Oregon’s state hatchery system.

Directed by the 2023 Oregon Legislature, the resiliency assessment is being conducted by third-party contractors. A public involvement process will be rolled out this summer to share information from the assessment and discuss the best path forward for the state hatchery system. Additionally, ODFW will be consulting with the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon to ensure their perspectives are incorporated into the review.

Staff also updated the Commission on their progress revising the long standing Mule Deer Plan . The update included presentation of some new key components of the plan such as defining herd ranges and a tiered approach to population management objectives. Staff will conduct more public outreach later in April and present the plan to the Commission for adoption consideration at their June 14 meeting in Klamath Falls.

The Commission voted unanimously to amend two rules related to determining fair market value of food fish. These values would be used in the event ODFW pursues a civil suit for a commercial fishing violation. Changes were necessary to implement Senate Bill 887 (passed by OR State Legislature 2023).

Finally, the Commission recognized Director Curt Melcher’s long career, praising his accomplishments and thanking him for preparing the agency for its next chapter – a clear legacy of his leadership. Today was Director Melcher’s final Commission meeting.

The recruitment is underway for the next director. Chair Wahl indicated a robust number of applications were received and a small screening panel will identify candidates to move forward for public and Commission interviews on May 10. Davia Palmieri will serve as the Interim Director after Director Melcher’s retirement April 1 and until the Commission hires a permanent director.

A recording of today’s meeting is available at


Contact: Meghan Dugan, 541-315-6629,
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