(OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted 2011 ocean salmon seasons for sport and commercial fisheries that include some of the most significant chinook salmon fisheries since 2007 as well as opportunities to retain wild coho thanks to healthy runs forecasted this year.
The salmon seasons adopted by the Commission are for Oregon’s territorial waters that extend three miles from the state’s shoreline. They mirror the regulations adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council on April 13 that cover ocean waters from three to 200 miles from the state’s shore. The regulations must also be approved by the National Marine Fishery Service and the Secretary of Commerce.
Details of the upcoming sport seasons include:
From Cape Falcon just north of Manzanita to Humbug Mountain near Port Orford:
Chinook season runs from March 15 through Sept. 30 with a bag limit of two salmon, closed to the retention of coho except during the selective coho and non- selective coho seasons.
Selective coho season open July 2 through the earlier of Aug. 13 or 15,000 selective coho quota with a bag limit of two salmon, all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.
Non-selective coho season open each Thursday through Saturday from Sept. 1 through earlier of Sept. 10 or 3,000 selective coho quota with a limit of two salmon.
The Columbia River area, from Leadbetter Point, Wash., to Cape Falcon:
Selective chinook season open June 18 through June 25 or the catch quota of 4,800 marked chinook. The daily bag limit is two chinook with a healed adipose fin clip. No coho may be retained.
Non-selective chinook and selective coho season open June 26 through Sept. 30 or until a 7,400 chinook and 33,600 selective coho quota is reached. The bag limit is two salmon per day, but no more than one chinook, and all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.
South of Humbug Mountain to the Oregon/California border the chinook season is open May 14 through Sept. 5. The daily bag limit is two salmon. No coho may be retained.
Ocean chinook salmon seasons South of Cape Falcon have been relatively restrictive in the last three years due to concerns about poor returns to California’s Sacramento River – home to most of the chinook caught off Oregon’s central and south coasts. Managers are predicting significantly stronger returns to the Sacramento this year, allowing for more liberal commercial and recreational ocean salmon seasons.
The Commission approved the Oregon Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment and Strategy and adopted new rule language regarding population and habitat objectives and core area mapping criteria. The plan will be reviewed in one year.
The Commission ended the five-year mandatory review requirement for the wildlife management plans of several game species (Elk, Black Bear, Cougar, Mule Deer, Black-Tailed Deer, Bighorn Sheep and Rocky Mtn Goat, and Wild Turkey). Plan revisions can tie up significant staff time and in some cases, habitat and species conditions may not have not changed enough in five years to warrant revising a plan.
ODFW staff intends to update the Commission on three wildlife management plans annually with information on research results, accomplishments and any new issues for the particular species.
The Commission approved new rule language that clarifies the authority of law enforcement officers to take or harass wildlife while performing their duties.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. It usually meets monthly. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2-3 in Salem. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/