January 3, 2014
SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Jan. 10 at ODFW Headquarters in Salem to hear an update on implementation of new rules for Columbia River fisheries and consider fish passage waivers for projects in Malheur and Baker counties.
The meeting begins at 8 a.m. A complete copy of the agenda and other meeting materials can be found here.
The Commission’s business includes:
- A briefing on the use of crossbows, which are currently prohibited for hunting game animals in Oregon. Some hunters support the use of crossbows by people with disabilities or pioneer license holders; others are firmly against allowing crossbows for anyone. The briefing will include information from the USFWS Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator.
- Adoption of new administrative rules for the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The new rules are based on legislation (HB 3452) and a legal settlement over lethal control of wolves that occurred last year. The new rules would allow livestock producers to kill wolves “caught in the act of biting, wounding, killing livestock,” or chase wolves under certain circumstances, without a permit. (Previously, a permit was required.) Livestock producers have been working under a temporary version of these rules since Oct. 1, 2013.
- A progress report on implementation of new management and reform rules for Columbia River Fisheries. Accomplishments for 2013 include the passage of the legislation necessary to implement the reforms; establishment of the Columbia River Basin Endorsement; the enhancement of off-channel select areas with the release of almost 1.5 million additional salmon smolts; the evaluation of beach and purse seines, tangle nets and other alternative commercial gear types for possible use in mainstem fisheries. Staff will also update the Commission on plans for 2014.
- Approval of fish screening exemptions and fish passage waivers for two proposed hydroelectric projects on the Warmsprings Dam in Malheur County and on the Mason Dam in Baker County. In lieu of providing fish passage at Warmsprings Dam, Warmsprings, LLCD (WID) proposes fish passage improvements at the Dryer Diversion, located 39 miles upstream on the Malheur River. In lieu of providing fish screening at the Dam, WID will provide $3,000 annually, for the duration of the hyrdoelectric license, for stocking fingerling rainbow trout or completing habitat enhancement projects in the Middle Fork Malheur Basin. In lieu of providing fish passage at Mason Dam, Baker County proposes to replace a culvert on Silver Creek and improve fish passage conditions at a culvert on McCully Fork, both located upstream of Phillips Reservoir. To mitigate for the absence of fish screening at the Dam, Baker County proposes to provide funding for hatchery fish to stock at Phillips Reservoir, install fish screening at the Shaw-Stewart Diversion and to provide funding to create a Powder River Screening Fund to address unscreened diversions in the basin.
- Consideration of $60,100 in funding for three restoration projects recommended by the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Board.
- Appointment of one new member representing sport fishing to the Restoration and Enhancement Board, and two new members representing the public-at-large and fishing or fish conservation to the Fish Screening Task Force.
- Set by rule the average market price per pound of each species of fish commercially-harvested in Oregon. These values are adopted every January and are used to set damages in lawsuits associated with the unlawful taking of food fish during the year.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. People wanting to testify about 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. Testimony for issues not on the agenda is held Friday morning, immediately following the expenditure report.
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.