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Fish and Wildlife Commission to hear Columbia River Fisheries Reform update and recommendations


11-01/2016 – John Snyder – NW Fishing News 

 

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Wednesday Nov. 9, in Salem to be updated on research, evaluation and implementation of the Commission’s Columbia River fisheries reform policy. The meeting agenda and supporting materials are online at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/16/11_nov/index.asp.

The meeting begins 8 a.m., at HQ ODFW, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem. ODFW will live-stream portions of Friday’s meeting via Periscope on Twitter Feed: https://twitter.com/MyODFW.

Because of the large amount of information ODFW staff has to share, and the anticipated volume of public testimony, the Columbia River Fisheries Reform Update is the only agenda item for the Commission to hear. There will be no rulemaking actions taken as the agenda item is informational only. However, the Commission anticipates taking up rulemaking for the Columbia River Fisheries Reform in December.

The Commission adopted administrative rules in December 2012 implementing guiding principles and management strategies for a new fisheries framework for lower Columbia River to:

  • Maintain or enhance the overall economic viability of commercial and recreational fisheries;
  • Optimize overall economic benefits to the State
  • Promote conservation of native fish; and
  • Promote orderly and concurrent fisheries with the State of Washington.

Key elements of the Columbia River Reform include shifting allocations to provide a stronger recreational priority in the mainstem,enhancing off-channel hatchery releases to augment commercial harvest, limiting gill nets to off-channel fisheries, developing alternative gears and techniques for commercial mainstem fisheries, and strengthening conservation of nativefish.

The Commission mandated a transition period until 2016 for phasing in reform actions and allowing feedback on the effectiveness and economic outcome of actions prior to long term implementation. Staff will present results from the transition period and recommend adjustments needed movingforward to best meet the overall objectives and principles of Columbia RiverFisheries Reform.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. Public testimony before the Commission will be held first thing Friday morning, just after the adoption of temporary rules. Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda 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.