The Commission will set 2011-12 bird hunting regulations and 2011 sport fishing regulations when it meets in Salem, Friday Aug. 5 at ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Ave NE.
The meeting begins at 8 a.m. and proceeds through this agenda.
Ducks and geese are migratory birds and management is a joint responsibility of federal and state agencies. This joint team has proposed another maximum-length duck hunting season of 107 days with a seven-duck bag limit like the last few years.
Overall goose bag limits are proposed to stay the same but hunters will be able to take up to three cacklers/Aleutians in Northwest General and Permit Zones. The bag limit restriction for cacklers/Aleutians is proposed to be relaxed in all other zones and Tillamook County goose hunters will be able to take an additional dark goose in their daily bag. See the proposed migratory bird season chart for more details.
Upland bird seasons operate under a five-year framework that last changed in 2010. Most regulations will stay the same except for standard calendar shifts. The Blue Mountain controlled fall turkey hunt area will expand to add the Beulah Unit (except for the Snake River Islands) and available permits will increase to 500 (from 400 last year).
Several special upland bird hunts will be offered for youth and adults through the ODFW Outdoors skills program, including a youth chukar hunt Oct. 8-9 in Klamath County. Information on how to sign up for these hunts will be available in mid-August on ODFW’s Hunting Resources website.
Changes to the administrative rules for falconry to bring them in line with revised federal regulations are also on the agenda.
Fishing regulations and plans
The Commission will be asked to approve two fish conservation plans:
The first is the Lower Columbia River and Oregon Coast White Sturgeon Conservation Plan. The plan was developed in response to concerns about the long-term health of white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River. It is the state’s first conservation plan for sturgeon in the Columbia River and provides a framework for ensuring sturgeon remain healthy and viable, while providing fishing and other societal benefits.
The plan is available on-line.
The Commission will be also asked to approve Oregon’s plan to restore and conserve salmon and steelhead populations of the upper Willamette River.
The Upper Willamette River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Chinook Salmon and Steelhead calls for restoring natural production of salmon and steelhead above several of the flood-control dams in the Willamette Valley. It also includes efforts to reintroduce Chinook and steelhead into habitat above dams in the North and South Santiam, McKenzie and Middle Fork Willamette rivers.
The plan serves a dual purpose as both a as a complete state conservation plan and a component of the federal recovery plan, which is required for all species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The plan and an executive summary are available on-line at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CRP/upper_willamette_river_plan.asp
The Commission will be asked to consider and approve the 2011 Sport Fishing Regulations, which include a few key changes from 2011:
Clarification of smelt regulations to replace the blanket restrictions on all smelt harvest with specific restrictions closing only Eulachon smelt, recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Permanently increase the daily bag limit on Diamond Lake from 5 to 8 trout.
Introduce catch-and-release regulations for tiger trout. Tiger trout will be introduced into Fish Lake in southwest Oregon and Phillips Reservoir in the northeast to feed on illegal-introduced Tui chub and yellow perch. Staff is proposing the catch-and-release regulations so they can better evaluate the recreational fishery potential and ecological benefits. .
The Commission also will consider changes to the process by which the public can suggest changes to the state’s sport fishing regulations. Every four years the agency uses an extensive public process to give anglers an opportunity to propose new or modified fishing regulations. The goal of a New Five-Step Public Process is to simplify the year-long process while allowing for more meaningful public participation. If approved, implementation will begin later this year as part of the 2013 Sport Fishing Regulations development process.
Finally, the Commission will be asked to appoint three members to the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board to represent sport fishing, troll fishing and fish processing interests.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.
People seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.
Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.