The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to set 2013-2014 big game regulations and 2013 coastal fall salmon seasons during its two-day meeting in Tigard on June 6-7. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. both days at the Washington Square Embassy Suites, 9000 SW Washington Square Rd., Tigard, OR 97223.
The Commission will consider a number of fish issues on Thursday, June 6.
The Commission will be asked to set the 2013 seasons for coho and fall chinook in Oregon’s coastal rivers and streams. The proposed fall chinook seasons on the North Coast from the Necanicum River south to the Yaquina would be very similar to those in 2012. For streams from the Alsea River to the California border, permanent rules would apply except on the Elk and Sixes rivers where the daily bag limit would be two salmon, only one a chinook.
ODFW staff also will recommend 13 wild coho fisheries for 2013, including two new fisheries on Beaver and Floras creeks.
A detailed description of the 2013 coastal salmon seasons will be posted on the ODFW website shortly after Commission approval.
The Commission also will revisit the Columbia River fish management and reform rules adopted by the Commission in December 2012. These rules modify non-tribal commercial and recreational fisheries in the Columbia River and its tributaries and establish management measures for future fisheries. These include providing more hatchery fish for commercial fisheries in off-channel areas of the lower Columbia River, developing alternative gear for mainstem commercial fisheries, and phasing in a higher priority for recreational fishing in the mainstem Columbia River. The Commission is revisiting the rules to consider updated fiscal information, provide additional time for public input and address alleged deficiencies in either the process or economic analysis of the December rulemaking claimed by litigants.
The Commission will be asked to approve $1,019,164 in funding for eight restoration and 15 enhancement projects recommended by the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board.
On Friday, the Commission will turn to wildlife issues.
The Commission will be asked to adopt final 2013 big game tag numbers and concepts for 2014 big game regulations. At this time ODFW staff is not proposing major regulation changes for 2014. Final 2014 regulations will be adopted at the October Commission meeting in Newport.
Total controlled tags for the 2013 fall seasons are proposed to change very little from 2012 seasons. See the full list of hunts and proposed tag numbers here. Overall, 2013 spring surveys found good winter survival in many deer and elk herds. The dry fall in 2012 resulted in herds going into winter with fall fawns and calves in less than ideal condition, but the mild winter moderated the impact to some herds. ODFW will have more details about what hunters should expect in its Fall Hunting Forecast, published annually in early September.
ODFW processed 374,022 controlled hunt applications for the fall 2013 season. Mail-order applications are still being processed so the final number may be higher. (The deadline to apply was May 15.)
The Commission will be asked to add or modify some definitions in the 2012-2014 Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations, including clarifying that beaver and muskrat are considered predatory animals when causing damage on private property. The new proposed rules also clearly define a trailhead, water set, and land set to clarify new rules the Commission passed last year that put limits on where trappers may set traps.
The Commission will be asked to allocate 2014 auctions and raffle hunting tags that will later be distributed among various sportsmen/conservation groups that keep a portion of the proceeds; approve grant recommendations for Access and Habitat projects that improve wildlife habitat or promote hunting access; and appoint a Landowner Representative to the statewide A&H Board.
Finally, the Commission will be asked to adopt a permanent rule to allow retention of Habitat Conservation Stamps from year to year to sell with signed Governor’s prints.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.
Public testimony for issues not on the formal agenda will be held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons seeking to testify on such issues 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.
Logo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife