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Cooperative management agreement between the Coquille Indian Tribe and the State of Oregon

ODFW and the Coquille Indian Tribe recently adopted a cooperative partnership to collaborate, share resources and develop and carry out plans to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitat within a five-county area of southwest Oregon. This area covers Coos, Curry, Jackson, Douglas, and Lane counties (including the associated nearshore marine areas) – the Tribe’s “service area” as defined by the federal government.

In June 2022, following the opportunity for public comment, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (Commission) adopted a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that made the partnership possible. The MOA outlines that tribal hunting, fishing, and shellfishing regulations would be discussed in further detail by the Tribe and ODFW staff then adopted by the Coquille Tribal Council. As outlined in the MOA, with concurrence by ODFW Director, the Coquille Indian Tribe is now authorized to issue licenses and permits for the 2022-23 hunting and trapping seasons.

In June 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Commission approved adoption of clam regulations for a special gathering permit for the Coquille Indian Tribe.

News release


Highlights from the 2023 ODFW and Tribal Partnership Annual Report

  • In 2023, ODFW and the Coquille Indian Tribe (CIT) met and updated the subsistence and ceremonial hunting and fishing regulation agreement per the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2022.
  • ODFW continues to coordinate recovery actions with CIT regarding the extremely low returns of fall Chinook salmon to the Coquille Basin since 2018. Actions are being taken to evaluate the causes of low returns and to reverse this trend. The CIT acquired their own electrofishing boats, and contributed significantly to ongoing ODFW efforts in predatory, nonnative fish removal (primarily smallmouth bass) in 2023, under ODFW’s take permit with NMFS. CIT also participated in a mark/recapture effort to estimate the smallmouth bass population size in the Coquille River. ODFW worked with CIT, the Port of Bandon, and STEP volunteers to collect hatchery fall Chinook broodstock for Bandon Hatchery.
  • ODFW collaborated with CIT to develop a conservation hatchery program for Coquille Basin fall Chinook to help recover the severely depressed wild adult escapement. The conservation hatchery plan, adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, is designed to collect wild adult broodstock and raise smolts to a larger size at release from the upper basin, at a release time when river flows are higher and colder in order to reduce predation from invasive, predacious smallmouth and striped bass. ODFW, CIT, and Coquille STEP volunteers collaborated to collect conservation hatchery broodstock in 2023 via trapping and netting.
  • ODFW and CIT are two of 15+ partners of the Coos Basin Coho Partnership which was awarded an OWEB FIP grant for implementation of the Coho Strategic Action Plan high-priority habitat restoration projects for Coho Salmon in the Coos watershed over the next three biennia.
  • As a part of the Coos hatchery fall Chinook program, ODFW works with the CIT to acclimate up to 100,000 fall Chinook salmon pre-smolts. Fish are raised at the Bandon Hatchery, acclimated at CIT's Fourth Creek Reservoir, and released into Coos Bay. CIT staff operates a fish trap in the Fourth Creek fish ladder to monitor adult returns of wild and hatchery salmon.
  • ODFW has been invited to participate in the review/update of the Coquille Subbasin Plan, originally developed in 2007 to facilitate CIT to receive PCSRF funding through NOAA.  ODFW participated as technical advisors to the original Plan development. 
  • ODFW provided approximately 70 adult (1,050 pounds) spring Chinook to the CIT from Cole Rivers Hatchery, for tribal subsistence and ceremonial use. In November/December, approximately 500 additional pounds of fall Chinook will also be provided from Bandon Hatchery for tribal subsistence and ceremonial use.
  • CIT Natural Resources Program staff are regularly invited attendees at ODFW District-hosted “Bio Breakfasts.” These informal breakfast meetings are a good way for natural resource staff from agencies, Tribes, watershed councils, and other entities to network and share project updates, and find ways to partner toward common goals.
  • ODFW continues to coordinate with the CIT to distribute a variety of harvested wildlife species (primarily deer and elk) to many of the Tribal members.
  • ODFW began planning with CIT staff to collect samples of deer and elk as part of a combined effort to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease.
  • ODFW started preparing for training CIT staff to check-in black bears and cougars harvested by tribal members.
  • ODFW’s Hunter Education Program provided an in-person hunter education class for tribal members who are interested in taking advantage of new hunting opportunities available through the Memorandum of Understanding between ODFW and the tribe.
  • The Charleston Wildlife District provided the following to the tribe for education and ceremonial purposes: 1 bear skull, 2 bobcat skulls and pelts, 1 mink pelt, 1 river otter pelt, 1 cougar pelt.
  • Charleston Wildlife District also provided one black-tailed buck deer for human consumption to the tribe. The meat was distributed to tribal elders.
  • Staff from ODFW’s Fish Research, Evaluation, Data, and Decision Support program coordinated with the CIT Staff to report on efforts to remove smallmouth bass in the lower Coquille River.
  • ODFW Aquatic Inventories Program staff conducted habitat and snorkel surveys on upper Dry Creek and Elk Creek.

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