Fish and Wildlife Commission approve spring chinook and sturgeon seasons

Salem, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today
approved the fishing season for spring chinook salmon in the
Columbia River that were set by the Columbia River Compact earlier
this month.

Permanent rules are in place through February 28. The seasons
adopted today will take effect March

The following seasons were set:

Mainstem Columbia River from the Hayden Island
powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam

  • March 1 through March 22 open seven-days-a-week
  • March 25 through April 22 open four-days-a-week (Wed. –
    Sat.)
  • Two adipose fin-clipped salmon or steelhead, but only one may
    be a chinook
  • The mainstem Columbia will be open for retention of adipose
    fin-clipped steelhead and shad only during days and seasons open
    for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring chinook

Mainstem Columbia River below the Hayden Island
powerlines

  • March 1 through March 15 open seven-days-a-week
  • March 19 – April 18 open three-days-a-week (Thurs. – Sat.)
  • Two adipose fin-clipped salmon or steelhead, but only one may
    be a chinook
  • The mainstem Columbia will be open for retention of adipose
    fin-clipped steelhead and shad only during days and seasons open
    for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring chinook

Willamette River (downstream of Willamette
Falls)

  • March 1 through March 15 open seven-days-a-week
  • March 19 – April 30 open three-days-a-week (Thurs. – Sat.) for
    spring chinook, and open for retention of steelhead under permanent
    rule for the remainder of the week (Sun – Wed)
  • The daily bag limit will be two adult adipose fin-clipped
    salmon or steelhead, but only one may be a chinook
  • These rules apply to the Willamette downstream from Willamette
    Falls, including Multnomah Channel and the lower Clackamas River
    downstream of the Highway 99 Bridge. 

Willamette Tributaries

  • The Willamette River, upstream of Willamette Falls and the
    Clackamas River upstream of the highway 99 bridge will remain open
    under permanent rules

The Commission also approved permanent rules that set a 2009
recreational sturgeon season on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers
as follows:

In the estuary below the Wauna powerlines

  • January 1 through April 30, seven-days-a-week
  • May 9 through June 28, seven-days-a-week
  • July 2 through July 5
  • 38-inch minimum fork length January through April, 41-inch
    minimum fork length remainder of season

From Wauna Powerlines to Bonneville Dam (including the
lower Willamette River)

  • Retention is allowed three-days-a-week (Thurs. – Sat.) during
    the months of January through July and October through
    December
  • Retention prohibited August through September

From Bonneville to McNary Dam

  • Sturgeon retention is allowed seven –days-a-week with reservoir
    specific quotas
  • The annual quota for The Dalles 2009-2011 fishery was raised
    from 100 to 300 fish

The Commission approved the implementation of the 25-Year
Angling Enhancement Plan. The plan will provide a framework and
strategy to guide the agency’s recruiting and retention efforts
regarding recreational fishing opportunities.

“I encourage staff to continue working inside and outside of the
agency to put in place some of the great initiatives that are
included in the plan,” said Commissioner Dan Edge.

The Commission approved the appointment of Gordon Summers to the
Fish Screening Task Force.  Summers, a rancher from Halfway, will
represent agricultural interests in promoting fish screen
installation.

In other business, the Commission received a briefing on the
preliminary results from a survey on the economic impact of
hunting, fishing, shellfish harvest and wildlife viewing.  The
survey was developed through a collaborative effort by ODFW and
Travel Oregon.

Preliminary results show that residents and non-residents spent
$862-million on hunting, fishing, shellfish and wildlife viewing
related travel.  This includes spending on fuel, lodging,
groceries, meals, retail purchases and other travel expenses
associated with the trip.  The $862-million spent on hunting,
fishing, shellfish and wildlife viewing travel is about 10% of all
travel spending in Oregon.

Residents also spent another $147-million on trips closer to
home and nearly $1.5-billion on equipment associated with hunting,
fishing, shellfish and wildlife viewing. 

“This survey shows us Oregonians spend a lot of time and money
fishing, hunting, crabbing, clamming and watching wildlife,” said
Roger Fuhrman, Information and Education Administrator.   “Fishing,
hunting, wildlife viewing and shellfish is an important part of
Oregon’s economy, especially in rural areas.”

On Thursday, the commissioners toured several facilities in the
Astoria area including some select area fisheries, and crab and
fish processing plants.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife
issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. Agenda
item exhibits may be requested by calling the ODFW Director’s
Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.

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