SALEM, Ore.—The Commission met today in Salem and adopted a plan for implementation of the Columbia River Fisheries Reform that will continue to allow commercial gill net fishing on the mainstem of the Columbia River during the summer and fall and increases commercial fishing in the fall, decisions that will likely create non-concurrent regulations with the State of Washington.
Highlights of the policy adopted today include:
Spring and summer Chinook Endangered Species Act (ESA) impacts will be allocated 80 percent for recreational fisheries; 20 percent for commercial fisheries. Commercial fishing with tangle nets allowed on the mainstem river in the spring and largemesh gillnets in the summer.
Fall Chinook ESA impacts will be allocated 66 percent for recreational fisheries and 34 percent for commercial fisheries. Gillnets will be allowed in Zones 4 and 5 and coho tangle nets will be allowed in
Zones 1 through 3.
Continuation of the Youngs Bay “control zone” fishery closure.
Removal of the barbless hook requirement for lower Willamette River and Oregon off-channel recreational fisheries.
Continued enhancement in off-channel areas for commercial harvest.
Additional spring Chinook production to Oregon Select Area Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) areas.
The Commission also set by rule the 2017 average market price per pound of each species of fish commercially-harvested in Oregon. These values are adopted every January and are used to assess damages in criminal cases associated with the unlawful taking of food fish.
The Commission adopted final Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) for Division 44 Protected Wildlife, Wildlife Holding and Game Bird Propagation. These rules define protected wildlife species; provide a permit process to allow the holding of certain species as pets; created new permits for businesses that utilize wildlife in a zoo or as part of exhibiting for education or in the film industry; and regulate game bird propagation. The final rules will be posted online next week which can affect how a NW walleye fishing guide services their clients and catch limits that will be allowed on walleye fishing trips.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife policy in Oregon. Its next meeting is Feb. 9-10 in Tigard.