The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will tour several area projects and set the 2013 Sport Fishing Regulations when it meets in Hermiston on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 6-7.

Thursday’s tour includes visits to the Irrigon Wildlife Area and the Irrigon/Umatilla Hatchery, and an overview of the Columbia Basin hunting access program with a tour of a wetland improvement project. Members of the public are welcome to join the tour but must provide their own transportation and lunch. To join, meet at the Oxford Suites, 1050 N First St. in Hermiston at 8 a.m.

Friday’s meeting begins at 8 a.m. at Hermiston Conference Center, 415 S. Hwy. 395, Hermiston, Oregon 97838.

The Commission will be asked to adopt the proposed 2013 fishing regulations, which have been undergoing a public review process since January. The Commission considered them for the first time at its August meeting, and discussion at the upcoming meeting will focus on a handful of proposals that Commission members identified as needing additional review or comment. These proposals would:

  • Re-define artificial lure to include soft molded plastic and rubber worms, eggs and similar bait imitations.
  • Restrict the use of bait on the McKenzie River from Hayden Bridge upstream to Hendricks Bridge. Bait would be allowed only when fishing for salmon or steelhead from May 1- to June 15.
  • Increase daily bag limit for smallmouth bass on the Umpqua River from 10 to 15.
  • Create a trophy trout fishery on Crane Prairie Reservoir.
  • Manage largemouth bass on Wickiup Reservoir under statewide bag limits.
  • Change the salmon/steelhead deadline on the Molalla River.
  • Consider winter fishing opportunities on Lemolo Reservoir.
  • Reduce the annual sturgeon catch limit to two.
  • Increase daily harvest limit on purple varnish clams to the first 72 taken.
  • Establish a salmon fishing deadline on the Chetco River to protect spawning chinook.
  • Redefine an angling boundary on Rogue River to reflect removal of the Gold Ray Dam.

The Commission will consider $262,397 in funding for 12 restoration or enhancement projects recommended by the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board, including a proposal to build an acclimation pond for spring chinook on Trout Creek in the Molalla Basin.

The Commission also will be asked to approve $52,280 for two projects recommended by the Access and Habitat Board. The A and H program funds projects that open private land to hunting or improve wildlife habitat.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

Public testimony will be held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons 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.

Members of the public who can’t attend the Commission meeting in-person can follow the proceedings via live video streaming (requires Adobe Flash). The full meeting agenda and link to video streaming are on the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/12/06_jun/index.asp.

Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

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