The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider a petition to prohibit the retention of wild winter steelhead on all rivers in the Southwestern Zone next month at its Jan. 17 meeting in Salem.
Members of the commission said Friday that they heard from more than 30 members of the public testifying for and against a proposal to adopt a temporary rule to immediately prohibit the retention of wild winter steelhead for the 2020 season during the open forum portion of their meeting. The members assured those attending that it will formally consider the petition as an agenda item next month, according to a press release from the ODFW.
The Commission also adopted 2020 fishing regulations for groundfish like rockfish, lingcod, cabezon, greenling. State harvest guidelines are very similar to last year. There will be a five-fish daily bag limit, and a new sub-bag daily limit of one copper, quillback or China rockfish.
Fishing will be limited to shoreward of the 40-fathom line from June through August and allowed at all depths from September through May. Commercial nearshore fishery landing limits will also be similar to 2019. In the commercial Black Rockfish Management Areas, daily limits will increase from 300 to 500 pounds in January-February and November-December.
The Commission adopted Oregon’s Conservation Plan for Lampreys. Interest in lamprey conservation has increased dramatically over the past two decades as concern has grown over their status.
The plan covers four of the state’s native species of lampreys: Pacific Lamprey, Western River Lamprey, Western Brook Lamprey, and Pacific Brook Lamprey, and identifies limiting factors, management strategies and research needed to conserve these species.
Other items the commission discussed and approved include:
Amended roadkill salvage rules to allow deer and elk dispatched by wildlife law enforcement personnel after being roadstruck to be salvaged by people besides just the driver.
Made corrections to minor errors in the big game controlled hunt tables and boundary descriptions from the October Commission meeting to accurately reflect the newly published 2020 Regulations.
Formally approved the amended trapping regulations to prohibit the use of snares suspended in trees in the Siskiyou and Siuslaw National Forests and prohibit trapping in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Areas, per previous Commission decision.
Approved funding for several Restoration and Enhancement projects to increase fishing opportunities or improve public access and approve some housekeeping updates for rules managing the program.
In response to a judgement related to the Commission’s June 2018 decision to not uplist the marbled murrelet from threatened to endangered, Commissioners voted (4 to 1) to direct ODFW staff to initiate rulemaking to reconsider the uplisting and the status of this seabird. More information about this rulemaking process, including meeting dates, will be announced next year.