Control date for growing commercial market squid fishery

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today set Jan. 1, 2022 as the control date should they consider a limited entry structure for the growing commercial market squid fishery in the future.

Commercial market squid is a relatively new fishery for Oregon but growing in popularity, leading to concerns about sustainability of the resource. If the Commission decides to change it from an open access to limited entry fishery in the future, only commercial fishermen participating before Jan. 1, 2022 could be considered for permits that are allocated based on historical participation.

The Commission also directed ODFW staff to come back with a proposal to prohibit light boats in the fishery beginning in 2023. For more information about other regulations adopted for the fishery today including net size regulations, see the agenda item or the market squid section of the commercial fishing website where regulations will be posted next week https://dfw.state.or.us/MRP/regulations/commercial_fishing/index.asp

Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde that allows enrolled Tribal Members to harvest shellfish under a special gathering permit (rather than a recreational shellfish license) in the Trask Unit and the ocean adjacent to the unit including Tillamook Bay.

“To be able to return to our fishing grounds and to harvest shellfish under a Tribal permit is something that will support us for generations to come,” said Grand Ronde Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy.

Under the new agreement, Tribal members harvesting under the new permit would still follow Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations regarding species, daily bag limits, sizes, harvest methods and seasons. More information is available at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/news/2022/02_Feb/021822b.asp.

The Commission denied a petition requesting a Declaratory Ruling regarding North Umpqua summer steelhead hatchery smolt releases for 2022. In fall 2021, ODFW staff began a comprehensive analysis of wild summer steelhead health in the Umpqua Basin. The analysis is looking broadly at all factors that could be contributing to the decline of wild summer steelhead including hatchery fish, fires, non-native species, streamflow temp and ocean conditions.

Staff plan to present the analysis to the Commission at their April 2022 meeting. Based on that analysis, staff may recommend changes in management, including for the hatchery program and release of smolts this spring.