Commission to adopt big game tags and coastal fall chinook regulations on June 5

Salem, Ore. – The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday,
June 5 at ODFW Headquarters in Salem to adopt 2009 fall big game
tags and coastal fall chinook and coho regulations among other
business.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. at 3406 Cherry Ave NE. The agenda
also includes consideration of a Cervid Disease Surveillance List
and voluntary disease monitoring program at the state’s private
cervid (deer and elk) ranches; approval of Access and Habitat
projects; 2010 auction and raffle big game tag allocations; a
planning update about the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area management
plan; adoption of goals and objectives for the Fern Ridge Wildlife
Area management plan; and a fish screening task force member
appointment.

Big game regulations

The Commission is expected to adopt 2009 fall big game tag
numbers and approve, in concept, 2010 big game and western gray
squirrel seasons. The final 2010 Big Game Regulations will be
adopted at the Oct. 2 meeting in Salem.

Controlled (limited-entry) big game tag numbers proposed by ODFW
staff have been online since early May. Statewide, 2009 proposed
buck deer tags, antlerless deer tags, elk tags and pronghorn
antelope tags are down slightly while bighorn sheep and Rocky Mtn
goat tags have increased. Hunters have until June 1 to apply for a
controlled hunt.

Coastal fall chinook and coho seasons

The Commission will be asked to adopt restrictive regulations
for coastal fall chinook in terminal, bay and river fisheries due
to continuing declines in spawning escapements and the poor return
forecasts for this fall.  The recommended regulations include
reduced bag limits, new angling deadlines and the closure of the
Nehalem Basin and Winchuck River to all fall chinook fishing.

While chinook returns continue to be poor, ODFW biologists
predict a large return of wild coho salmon this fall and are
recommending the first wild coho fisheries on Oregon coastal rivers
since the mid-1990s. If approved by the Commission, the proposed
fisheries would allow the retention of wild coho in the tidewater
areas of the Nehalem, Yaquina, Coos and Coquille basins. Because
coastal coho salmon are listed as threatened under the federal
Endangered Species Act, managers have proposed conservative
fisheries modeled after existing wild coho fisheries on the
Siltcoos and Tahkenitch lakes.

Disease monitoring at cervid (deer and elk)
ranches

ODFW staff are proposing a comprehensive disease surveillance
program for the captive cervid industry.  A Cervid Disease
Surveillance List (CDSL) that focuses on three nationally important
diseases — Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), bovine tuberculosis and
brucellosis, will form the foundation for disease surveillance by
ODFW within the industry. Staff propose that any privately-held
cervid age 6 months or older that dies of any cause must be
reported to ODFW within 24-hours of discovery and tested from
criteria set forth in the CDSL.

CWD is an untreatable neurological disease that is always fatal
to deer and elk. It has been detected in deer and elk in multiple
states and Canadian provinces incervid ranching facilities and in
wild cervids. While CWD has never been detected in Oregon, other
states and provinces with the disease have spent millions to
contain it and eradication has proved nearly impossible if the
disease spreads to wild populations of deer and elk. Bovine TB and
brucellosis are serious diseases that can also infect domestic
livestock and so are closely monitored by the Oregon Dept. of
Agriculture and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

ODFW staff are also proposing a new state regulated voluntary
monitoring program that involves CWD testing of captive animals by
a private accredited veterinarian or state, federal, or diagnostic
laboratory veterinarian. Ranchers that elect to join the Voluntary
State CWD Monitored Herd Program will be able to export and sell
their animals to additional states that require participation in
regulated CWD surveillance programs.

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.

Public testimony will be held Friday morning immediately
following the expenditure report. 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

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