The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today directed agency staff to formally begin rule-making that will implement Governor John Kitzhaber’s proposed reforms of lower Columbia River fisheries management.

In an Aug. 9 letter, the Governor asked the Commission and ODFW to work with their counterparts in Washington state to develop a new management framework for Columbia River fisheries that prioritizes recreational fisheries in the mainstem of the lower Columbia, and enhances commercial fishing opportunities in off –channel areas while phasing out non-tribal gill nets in the mainstem.

The Commission directed the department to draft rules that reflect the proposals in the Governor’s Aug.  9 letter, as well as the additional details provided by his staff at today’s meeting. The Commission also directed staff to work closely with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and its Commission.

Bobby Levy, chair of the Oregon Commission, asked staff to develop and present the draft rules for its consideration before the end of 2012.

Logo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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