OR: Hagfish harvest topic of ODFW public meeting

NEWPORT – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host two public meetings in Astoria and North Bend to evaluate the status of the Oregon Pacific hagfish resource and fishery.

In 2010, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission set a state harvest guideline of 1.6 million pounds, which was subsequently exceeded in both 2010 (1.8 million pounds) and 2011 (2.1 million pounds). As a safeguard to the resource, ODFW must hold public meetings to evaluate the fishery when the harvest guideline is surpassed.

The public meetings will be:

Astoria – 1:30 p.m., March 20 in the OSU Seafood Building (same building as ODFW Marine Field Office), 2001 Marine Drive, Room 231, and

North Bend – 7 p.m., March 21, North Bend Public Library, 1800 Sherman Avenue.

“We improved the information available to manage the hagfish fishery, but there is still a high degree of uncertainty in setting sustainable harvest levels,” said Troy Buell, state fisheries management program leader for ODFW.

Buell will present information on landings, participation and biological data collection. He will also solicit public comment on the status of the Pacific hagfish resource and fishery and whether or not new management measures are needed to ensure a sustainable harvest in the future.

If you have questions or would like to provide input without attending the meeting, please contact Troy Buell at 541-867-0300 ext. 225 or by email at troy.v.buell@state.or.us.

About the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: ODFW’s mission is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The department’s policies are set by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. ODFW is headquartered in Salem and works through a regional management structure that allows for fish and wildlife management at the local level.

ODFW’s Marine Resources Program manages Oregon’s commercial and sport saltwater fisheries and has stewardship over our state’s marine environment.

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