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For Immediate Release Friday, August 8,2003

Fish and Wildlife Commission adopts 107- day waterfowl season and upland game bird seasons for 2003-04
2004 sport fishing regulations adopted

ASTORIA - The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday adopted a liberal 107-day season for duck hunters this fall after spring rains in Canada resulted in good duck production. However, 60-day restrictive seasons were put in place to limit the harvest of pintails and canvasbacks because these populations have not rebounded.

During the 2002-03 duck seasons, no harvest of canvasbacks was allowed. For 2003-04, hunters will be allowed one canvasback and one pintail within the seven-duck daily bag limit.
The seven-member Commission is the rule-making body for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The panel meets monthly to set policy and adopt administrative rules.

The Commission also adopted rules, with few changes from last year, for the harvest of other waterfowl and upland birds. Printed regulations will be available at license agents by the end of August.

In addition to the 107-day duck season, the Commission adopted:

* A 100-day general fall goose season between Oct. 11, 2003, and Jan. 25, 2003. The seasons generally coincide with duck seasons in most areas of the state.
* A Northwest Permit Canada Goose Season between Oct. 25, 2003, and Feb. 29, 2004. Allowed hunting days will be Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. The number of hunter check stations will be reduced by two compared to 2002 because of federal funding reductions.
* A controlled sage grouse season for Sept. 6-10, 2003, with 1,275 tags, including a 25-tag increase in allowed tags in the Whitehorse Unit.
* A general fall turkey season with 3,000 tags sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The number of allowed tags is an increase by 1,000 tags compared to 2002.
* Two controlled fall turkey hunts with 50 permits each in the White River and Pine Valley areas.
* Seasons for upland game birds, black brant, common snipe, coot, crow, band-tailed pigeon and mourning dove, fee pheasant hunts, and falconry.

Fish and Wildlife Commission Adopts 2004 Angling Rules
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new angling rules Friday that amend the definition of a 'fin clip,' restrict wild spring chinook harvest on the Rogue River, and reduce the annual sturgeon bag limit to five fish. The rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2004.

The following information summarizes the regulation changes for 2004:

Statewide Regulations:
* The annual sturgeon bag limit will drop from 10 to five fish per year, which will lengthen the retention periods and spread out the catch among anglers in the Columbia River. The rule was adopted statewide for consistency among angling zones and because most sturgeon are harvested from the Columbia River in Oregon.
* The definition for 'fin-clip' will change to "a healed scar where a fish fin has been clipped." The new rule will allow anglers to legally harvest hatchery-bred fish with partial fin clips. In most fisheries, nearly all of the hatchery fish have a fin clip to distinguish them from naturally produced fish.
Northwest Zone:
* A permanent selective fisheries will occur for the harvest of fin-clipped hatchery spring chinook salmon from lower Columbia River tributaries and select area fisheries. The season expands harvest opportunities and makes spring chinook seasons consistent in the lower Columbia River area. Spring chinook from the Klaskanine, Lewis and Clark, and Youngs rivers will need to have a left ventral fin-clip rather than the more usual adipose fin-clip.
Southwest Zone:
* The bag limits for fall chinook harvest from the Rogue River will expand to the normal zone regulations to allow anglers to retain two adult salmon per day and 20 per year. The change was implemented because fish population data indicate the populations have recovered to a healthy status.
* The allowed harvest of wild spring chinook salmon in the Rogue River will be reduced because populations have declined. The Rogue River will be open for hatchery-bred adipose fin-clipped salmon the entire year. One unmarked chinook salmon may be retained per day, and three per season, from the mouth upstream to Whiskey Creek Jan. 1 - May 31, 2004, and from Whiskey Creek upstream to the markers located downstream from Cole Rivers Hatchery diversion dam Jan. 1 - July 31, 2004. The harvest of non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon also is allowed as per the permanent zone regulations from the mouth of the Rogue River upstream to Whiskey Creek June 1 - Dec. 31, 2004, and from Whiskey Creek upstream to the Hog Creek boat landing July 15 - Dec. 15, 2004, and from the Hog Creek boat landing upstream to the ODFW markers located just downstream of Gold Ray dam July 15 - Sept. 30, 2004. The permanent zone regulations allow two adult salmon per day, 20 unmarked salmon per year, and fi
ve jack salmon per day.
* The 'Hatchery Hole' along the Rogue River from McGregor Park upstream to the deadline at Cole Rivers Hatchery will close to angling after 7 p.m. during the spring chinook season. The change was necessary to reduce illegal fishing activities.
Willamette Zone:
* All trout retained from Hills Creek Reservoir in the upper Willamette River drainage must be adipose fin-clipped starting in 2004. The change is designed to better protect wild bull trout.
* The 2004 regulations pamphlet will be reformatted to improve understanding of the Willamette Zone trout regulations.
Columbia River Zone:
* Harvest of sockeye salmon will not be allowed under permanent regulations in the Columbia River Zone. A temporary rule will be adopted to allow sockeye harvest if the number of sockeye migrating past Bonneville Dam rises above 75,000.
* Retention of spring chinook with an adipose fin-clip or left ventral fin-clip will be allowed under the permanent regulations in the Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough 'select area' fisheries in the lower Columbia River. The change was made because 100 percent of the spring chinook returning in 2004 will be fin-clipped.
Marine Zone:
* The rules for off-shore pelagic species will allow chumming and multiple rods in areas outside of three miles, provided only pelagic species are retained. The daily bag limit will be 25 fish in the aggregate for pelagic species. The new rules primarily affect the Oregon tuna fishery.
* The daily bag limit for surfperch will drop from 25 to 15 per day to maintain the sustainability of surfperch fisheries. The change makes the bag limit consistent with the State of Washington and is expected to reduce the harvest by 3 percent.
* The allowed number of crabs that can be held in a holding pot in bays and estuaries will change to no more than 24 crabs per container. The new limit was adopted to reduce crab mortality in crowded pots.

No regulation changes were adopted for the Central, Northeast, Southeast and Snake River zones.


Legal review finds Fish and Wildlife Commission cannot restrict possession of firearms during specialized hunting seasons

A recent legal review found that the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission does not have the authority to prohibit the possession of any type of firearm during hunting or pursuit seasons.

As a result of the new review, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Justice will thoroughly review the existing regulations to identify all instances where possession of firearms or ammunition is limited. Based on the review, the Commission Friday directed ODFW Director Lindsay Ball to develop and adopt a temporary rule suspending all firearm and ammunition possession restrictions in the 2003 big game and furbearer regulations. ODFW will incorporate the changes into the 2004 Oregon Big Game Regulations.

The 1995 Legislature adopted statute 166.170 to restrict the authority to regulate the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation and use of firearms to the Legislative Assembly. However, Oregon Revised Statutes allow the Fish and Wildlife Commission to regulate the manner in which wildlife can be taken by hunting and trapping.

In other actions, the Commission:
* Appointed three members to the fish Restoration and Enhancement Program;
* Approved $486,610 for 10 projects under the fishing Restoration and Enhancement Program;
* Heard a progress briefing on the project to revise Oregon Administrative Rules to make them consistent with the Native Fish Conservation Policy adopted late last year;
* Amended rules governing the operation of bass and walleye tournaments to allow the proper disposal of fish that die as a result of the tournaments;
* Denied a request for a permit renewal under the developmental fisheries program because the landing requirements were not met; and
* Heard a briefing on the potential options for management of the commercial and recreational ocean groundfish seasons in 2004 that would help reduce impacts to overfished stocks.

###

2003-2004 Oregon Game Bird Seasons
SpeciesAreaOpen SeasonDaily Bag Limit
Blue and ruffed grouseWestern Oregon, incl. Hood River and Wasco counties

Eastern OregonSept. 1, 2003 * Jan. 11, 2004

Sept. 1 * Nov. 30, 20033


3
Chukar and Hungarian partridgeUmatilla and Morrow counties


Remaining eastern Oregon countiesOct. 11 * Dec. 31, 2003

Oct. 11, 2003 * Jan. 31, 20048


8
Rooster pheasantStatewideOct. 18 * Dec. 14, 20032
California (valley) quailWestern Oregon


Umatilla and Morrow counties


Remaining eastern Oregon countiesOct. 18 * Dec. 14, 2003

Oct. 11 * Dec. 31, 2003

Oct. 11, 2003 * Jan. 31, 200410


10


10
Mountain quailWestern Oregon, incl. Hood River and Wasco counties

Klamath and Wallowa counties


Remaining eastern Oregon
countiesSept. 1, 2003 -* Jan. 11, 2004

Oct. 11 -* Dec. 31, 2003

No open season10


2
Sage grouseSumpter, Lookout Mountain, Beulah, Malheur River, Owyhee, Whitehorse, Steens, Beatys Butte, Juniper, Silvies, North Wagontire, South Wagontire and Warner controlled hunt areas.Sept. 6 * 10, 20032
Fall turkeyCurry, Josephine, Jackson, Coos, Douglas, Lane, Benton, Polk, Marion and Linn counties

Controlled hunts in White River and Northeast OregonOct. 15 * Nov. 30, 2003


Oct. 15 * Nov. 30, 20031 of either sex
Spring turkeyStatewideApril 15 * May 31, 20041 male turkey with a visible beard
Mourning doveStatewideSept. 1 * Sept. 30, 200310
Band-tailed pigeonStatewideSept. 15 * Sept. 23, 20032
Duck and merganser
(Non pintail/canvasback)


Zone 1 (Western Oregon, plus Hood, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Umatilla Counties)

Zone 2 (Remainder of eastern Oregon counties)Oct. 11 * Nov. 2, 2003 and Nov. 5, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004.

Oct. 11 * Dec. 9, 2003, and Dec. 12, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004.7
with restrictions for hen mallards, redheads and scaup

Pintail and canvasback ducksZone 1 (Western Oregon, plus Hood, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Umatilla Counties)

Zone 2 (Remainder of eastern Oregon counties)
Oct. 11 * Oct. 19, 2003 and Dec. 6, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004

Oct. 11 * Dec. 9, 2003Only 1 pintail and 1 canvasback may be harvested within the 7 duck daily bag limit
Youth hunt waterfowl weekendStatewideSept. 27-28, 20037
CootZone 1 (Western Oregon, plus Hood, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Umatilla Counties)

Zone 2 (Remainder of eastern Oregon counties)Oct. 11 * Nov. 2, 2003 and Nov. 5, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004.

Oct. 11 * Dec. 9, 2003, and Dec. 12, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004.25
Black brantStatewideNov. 10 * 23, 20032
September Canada gooseClatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Tillamook, Yamhill, Marion, Polk, Benton, Lincoln, Linn and Lane counties

Douglas, Coos, Curry, Jackson, Josephine and all eastern Oregon counties
Sept. 6 * 19, 2003


Sept. 6 * 12, 20035 Canada geese


5 Canada geese
NW Oregon Permit Season (Canada goose)

* Hunters participating in this season must pass a goose identification test and possess a permit. Lane, Benton, Polk, Yamhill, Washington, Columbia and Clatsop counties; portions of Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Linn and Lane counties; private lands on Sauvie Island


Sauvie Island wildlife areaOct. 25 * Nov. 9, 2003;
Nov. 22, 2003 * Jan. 18, 2004; Feb. 11 * 29, 2004
(Wed., Sat., Sun. only during all periods)

Dec. 8, 16 and 28, 2003; Jan. 7, and 15, 20044 dark and 3 white


4 dark and 3 white
Fall GooseWestern Oregon, except closed and permit only areas


Areas in Multnomah, Clackamas, Marion, Lincoln, Linn and Lane counties not included in the NW Oregon Permit Zone


Klamath, Lake, Harney and Malheur counties


Remaining eastern Oregon countiesOct. 11 * Nov. 30, 2003 and Dec. 10, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004

Oct. 11 * Oct. 31, 2003 and Nov. 15, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004


Oct. 11 * Nov. 30, 2003 and Dec. 10, 2003 * Jan. 25, 2004

Oct. 11 * Nov. 2, 2003 and Nov. 12, 2003 -* Jan. 25, 20044 dark and 3 white


4 dark and 3 white


4 dark and 3 white


4 dark and 3 white


Common snipeStatewideOct. 11 * Nov. 28, 2003 and Dec. 27, 2003 * Feb. 22, 20048
CrowStatewideOct. 1, 2003 * Jan. 31, 2004No limit
Youth pheasantKlamath Wildlife Area


E.E. Wilson, Fern Ridge, Irrigon, Sauvie Island, and Ladd Marsh wildlife areas and lands near John Day, Maupin-Grass Valley, Ontario and Prineville.

E.E. Wilson, Denman wildlife areas and lands near Baker City Sept. 13-14, 2003

Sept. 20-21, 2003


Sept. 27-28, 20032


2


2
Fee pheasant huntsE.E. Wilson Wildlife Area

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area


Sauvie Island Wildlife Area


Denman Wildlife AreaOct. 1-31, 2003

Sept. 22-Oct. 22, 2003

Sept. 22 * Oct. 5, 2003

Oct. 1-16, 20032
 
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