Commission approves funds for Trout Creek Ranch Conservation Area

SALEM, Ore. — The Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund funds for a special project request by Oregon Desert Land Trust (ODLT) for the Trout Creek Ranch and Pueblo Mountains Conservation Area.

The grant will help the ODLT pay off a loan used to purchase the area early. This project spans three watersheds and includes a variety of habitats such as aspen woodlands, grasslands, creeks, wet meadows, and sagebrush-steppe. These lands are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species native to the Great Basin including several listed in the Oregon Conservation Strategy as priority species of interest to the State of Oregon.

The Commission also took action on the following issues:
Salmon carcass disposition: Adopted rules in keeping with House Bill 3191 passed during the 2021 legislative session which require that at least 45 percent of the carcasses from adult fish returning to hatcheries (averaged over 10 years) be placed in natural spawning and rearing areas for nutrient enhancement. ODFW already regularly meets this threshold so little change is expected in operations. Under the bill and new rules adopted today, ODFW will also prioritize the sale of these eggs and remaining carcasses to Oregon small businesses in communities with high rates of unemployment and then other Oregon small businesses, which may shift sales away from businesses that currently purchase them.

Jump Creek fish passage: Approved a request from Silvies Valley Ranch in Harney County for a fish passage exemption at 10 artificial obstructions on Jump Creek. Providing fish passage would not currently deliver an appreciable benefit to native migratory fish as recent surveys failed to find fish but have documented poor habitat conditions and the presence of downstream barriers.

Revoked the commercial fishing license of Richard Shore for the period of one year. Shore has been convicted six times for violations of the commercial fishing laws.

A recording of today’s meeting which occurred in North Bend, Ore. is available at ODFW’s YouTube channel

The Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15-16 in Portland.