Commission ends North Umpqua hatchery summer steelhead program

SALEM, Ore. — In a split 4-3 vote at their meeting in Astoria today, Commissioners decided to not release hatchery summer steelhead smolts into the North Umpqua this year and eliminate the Rock Creek summer steelhead hatchery program.

The vote ends this hatchery program as it will be the second year in a row of no hatchery summer steelhead smolts being released on the North Umpqua. None were released in 2021 due to wildfire impacts.

Commissioners heard testimony from two panels representing opposing views on hatchery summer steelhead releases on the North Umpqua, as well as the Coquille Indian Tribe, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Representative David Brock Smith, Representative Boomer Wright, Douglas County Commissioner Tom Kress and about a dozen members of the public who signed up to testify remotely.

In other business, the Commission:

Amended Burns Paiute Tribe Ceremonial Harvest Permit Hunt Area

The amendment will allow limited hunting for mule deer in the Buena Vista Unit of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) and include the Buena Vista Unit in the hunt area for Burns Paiute Tribe ceremonial harvest permit for mule deer hunting.

Adopted 2022-23 Game Bird Regulations:

These regulations will be effective beginning July 1, 2022. The major changes from last year are:

Fall turkey: Increased the daily bag limit for the Western Oregon Fall Turkey Season to two turkeys per day. The season limit of two turkeys of either sex remains in place but hunters can now fill both tags on the same day.

Northwest Permit Goose season: Reduced Canada/cackling goose bag limit from four to three per day.

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area: Opened the southern portion of the South Coyote Unit to public use, including hunting, and incorporated the area into the Wildlife Area Reservation Hunt Program.

Set commercial and recreational halibut seasons

The Commission set seasons in keeping with International Pacific Halibut Commission recommendations with this year’s fishery catch limit slightly lower than last year. See a summary of the recreational season at

Adopted 2022 ocean salmon seasons based on NMFS regulations

The Commission adopted ocean salmon fishing regulations for state jurisdiction waters (within three miles offshore) based on Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) adopted seasons. The primary limiting Chinook stocks considered in crafting 2022 ocean fisheries off Oregon were Columbia River natural tule and California Coastal Chinook. Other Chinook stocks of concern include Sacramento River Fall Chinook which have slightly improved, and Klamath River Fall Chinook whose abundance continues to be low. The ocean abundance forecast for Columbia River coho salmon is high at 997,200 fish, which would be slightly higher than last year’s actual return. Season dates and bag limits are available on the PFMC website and will be posted on later.