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Commission amends falconry program rules and hears update on sturgeon

SALEM, Ore. — The Fish and Wildlife Commission amended falconry program rules to allow falconers to take a limited number of northern harriers and broadened the categories of qualified falconers permitted to take limited numbers of peregrine falcons each year.

The rule amendments were developed in consultation with Oregon falconers, hunters and the Audubon Society of Portland.

Commissioners were provided with an update on the population status of white sturgeon and the 2019 sturgeon fisheries in the Columbia River. Status indicators for white sturgeon remain mixed. While surveys show a reasonable abundance of sub-adult and adult fish, the proportion of juvenile sized fish and young-of-year remains low, indicating an extended period of low productivity.

Due to this, fishery managers continue to take a precautionary approach to sturgeon fisheries and management; see the Columbia River Zone Recreation Report page for more information on 2020 harvest guidelines and seasons.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. Its next meeting is Friday, March 20, 2020 in Salem.