SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, March 17 at the Benton County Fairgrounds (Guerber Hall, 110 SE 53rd Street, Corvallis) to reconsider their rules on Columbia River Fisheries Reform adopted Jan. 20.
Friday’s meeting starts at 8 a.m. and follows this agenda http://www.dfw.state.or.us/
On Thursday March 16, Commissioners will tour several projects in the area including Bald Hill Farms, EE Wilson Wildlife Area, Smithfield Oaks and the Buena Vista Ramp Boat Project. Members of the public are welcome to join the tour but must provide their own transportation and lunch. Meet at the Holiday Inn Express, 781 NE 2nd Ave, Corvallis by 8:30 a.m. on Thursday to join the tour.
On Friday, the Commission will revisit the rules it adopted in January for the long-term management of lower Columbia River salmon fisheries. On Jan. 20, the Commission adopted fisheries reform rules designed to improve the economic returns commercial fisheries relative to both an economic baseline and to pre-policy allocation and gear shifts. Rules enacted eliminated gillnets from spring fisheries but not in other seasons, and differed substantively from the policy adopted by the State of Washington.
At next week’s meeting the Commission will act on a request from Governor Kate Brown to reconsider its January decision. The Governor’s letter to Commission chair Michael Finley stressed the importance of concurrence with Washington regulations, and of adopting policies that better align with the guiding principles of Senate Bill 830. ODFW staff will update analyses and provide a recommendation for Commission action, which can be found on the ODFW website.
The Commission will also:
- Receive an informational briefing on the upcoming ocean salmon seasons where record low forecasted returns of Chinook to the Klamath Basin, a primary driver for ocean fisheries on the southern and central Oregon coast, will have a significant impact on Oregon ocean salmon fisheries for 2017.
- Be asked to approve project funding recommended by the Restoration and Enhancement Board, and the 2017-19 R and E and Salmon Trout Enhancement Program budgets. The Commission also will hear a briefing on the 2015-17 R and E Report and the 2016 STEP annual report.
- Consider the acquisition of the property adjacent to the existing Buena Vista Boat Ramp on the Willamette River so the increasingly popular boat ramp can be improved to improve boater safety, increase ADA accessibility at the site, and enhance recreational opportunities.
- Consider changing the formula used to allocate Landowner Preference (LOP) tags for mule deer in wildlife management units below the population management objective.
- Be asked to rename the River Ranch Parcel of the Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area the Woosley Tract to recognize the lifelong contributions that Chuck and Gail Woosley of Corvallis have made to the project by contributing to it financially, testifying at Commission meetings and for their countless hours of volunteer service at multiple wildlife areas.
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.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state and it usually meets monthly.