Community, Outdoors

Commission adopts ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons, 2018-19 game bird regulations

The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted 2018 ocean salmon and Pacific halibut seasons and 2018-19 game bird hunting regulations when they met in Astoria on April 20. 
Ocean salmon regulations are based on Pacific Fishery Management Council recommendations. The Commission also adopted rules for state water terminal fisheries. See a full summary of ocean salmon sport seasons at 
Catch limits for Pacific halibut are established by the International Pacific Halibut Commission and are 10.5 percent lower than last year. For this year’s Pacific halibut sport seasons, adjustments include three fewer fixed days in the Central Coast Subarea spring all-depth fishery, to stay within the lower catch limit; and a change in the Columbia River Subarea open days of the week from Thursday through Sunday to Thursday, Friday and Sunday (closed Saturdays), to provide for a longer season in that area.
Full details on the 2018 sport halibut seasons can be found at 
Changes for the 2018-19 game bird hunting regulations include the elimination of a minimum shotgun gauge for hunting turkey (these changes begin for the 2018 fall turkey season and do not apply to the current spring season); the pintail daily bag limit increases to two birds per day; and the goose hunting closure area in Tillamook County is reduced in size. 
The Commission also adopted new record-keeping requirements for commercial Dungeness crab purchases and sales that will apply to all types of fish and shellfish dealers and canners. The rules were recommended by a Rules Advisory Committee made up of representatives from the crab industry, ODFW and ODA. The new requirements improve traceability of crab in the seafood market chain, in order to protect public health and the fishery during biotoxin events. 
Finally, commissioners were briefed on the 2017 Annual Wolf Report. ODFW wildlife biologists counted 124 wolves in Oregon this past winter, an 11-percent increase over the number counted last year. (This count is considered the state’s minimum known wolf population, not an estimate of how many wolves are in Oregon.)
The report also discussed livestock depredation, with ODFW Wolf Coordinator Roblyn Brown noting that depredations have not increased at the same rate as the wolf population, and crediting livestock producers’ non-lethal measures for this.
ODFW Director Curt Melcher also thanked ODFW staff and all stakeholders, including livestock producers, sportsman organizations and conservation advocacy groups, for their work dealing with wolf management. 
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon. It usually meets monthly. Its next meeting is June 7-8 in Baker City.



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos