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Support "Wild Fish Emphasis Areas" on the Oregon Coast

UPDATE 2/12/14:  The deadline for comments has been extended to March 10th.

ODF&W's Coastal Multi Species Conservation and Management Plan

(In the ODF&W's exact words) is being developed to address conservation and management of the remaining anadromous salmonids (salmon and trout) on the Oregon coast from Cape Blanco to Seaside.

Click here to read the CMP  (conservation and management plan).  This is pretty much the first step.

What we support...

  • The plan establishes 19 watersheds as "wild fish emphasys areas".  Three of these are new (Kilchis, Big Elk Creek, E.F. Coquille).
  • An additional 15 rivers have only one hatchery program (inlcuding reductions to the Wilson and Nestucca Rivers)
  • Sliding harvest management that changes based on run size
  • Lower daily retention limits for average run sizes where there is high fishing pressure (North Coast stratum), inconsistent status information (Tillamook, Nestucca, Salmon, and Floras rivers), and a non-viable population (Elk River).
  • Mandatory return of harvest tags

What we don't support...

  • “Wild Fish Emphasis Areas” should be defined and recommended as a formal, permanent designation
  • Watershed health and capacity to maintain wild populations should have played a more prominent role in the identification of wild fish emphasis areas. The Plan should establish a process and criteria to add Wild Fish Emphasis Areas in the future.
  • ODFW should withdraw harvest proposals of wild steelhead (Salmon, Big Elk, EF Coquille)
  • ODFW should withdraw proposals of new releases of hatchery spring chinook in Yaquina and Coos Bays (100k each)

While there will be many results from this plan, both positive and negative, I am very excited about eliminating the hatchery winter steelhead run on the Kilchis.  While this has caused a public outcry here in Tillamook County it is absolutely the right thing to do for native steelhead.  We will have one more river to fish that is managed for wild steelhead.  Also, everything from the Kilchis River north to the S.F. Nehalem River will be wild fish only.  This is very cool!

Please submit comments in email to 

http://ODFW.CoastalPlan@state.or.us

Comments in writing should be sent to:

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE

Salem, OR 97302

PLEASE send comments supporting wild fish!

ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FEBRUARY 10th.

A huge thank you to the Wild Salmon Center for helping me sort through the facts and BS.  wildsalmoncenter.org

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Thanks for reading,

Chris