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For Immeiate Release Friday, June 20, 2003

ODFW Seeks Public Input on Proposed Rogue River Spring Chinook Fin-clip Fishery
Public meetings to be held next week

ROSEBURG - Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists will host two public meetings in Gold Beach and Shady Cove to receive input on angling regulation proposals related to spring chinook fisheries on the Rogue River. Meetings are scheduled June 24 in Gold Beach and June 26 in Shady Cove.

The proposals and public comments will be presented to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at its Aug. 8 meeting in Astoria. The Commission, which acts as the rulemaking body for ODFW, will vote on the proposals.

ODFW biologists are proposing rule changes that would prohibit most harvest of wild spring chinook salmon while allowing selective harvest of abundant hatchery fish.

According to Mike Evenson, Central Point District Fish Biologist, the wild spring chinook population on the Rogue River has declined to historically low levels over the past 15 years.

"The severely depressed status of the population requires that rule changes be made to minimize angling mortality on wild springers," Evenson said.

Specific proposals will allow harvest of only adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon with the
following exceptions to accommodate sport fisheries that are mainly supported by healthy populations of wild fall chinook salmon:

· Non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon may be kept upstream to Whiskey Creek June 1-Dec. 31.
· Non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon may be kept from Whiskey Creek upstream to Hog Creek boat landing July 15-Dec. 31.
· Non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon may be kept from Hog Creek boat landing upstream to ODFW markers located downstream of Gold Ray Day July 15-Sept. 30.

Another proposal to be considered is removing the one and five restrictions (one adult chinook salmon per day, five per season) on wild fall chinook salmon from the mouth of the Rogue upstream to Hog Creek boat ramp. This change will provide more harvest opportunity for fall chinook salmon on the lower Rogue River.

"We've monitored this population over the last several years," Evenson said, "and all indications are that it has recovered to the point where special protective measures are no longer necessary."

Both meetings are scheduled for 7 - 9 p.m. The Gold Beach meeting will be held June 24 at City Hall on Highway 101. Shady Cove's meeting will be held June 26 at the Upper Rogue Community Center on Highway 62 behind City Hall. Biologists will present the proposals, answer questions and take public input during the two hours. The input received will be provided to the Commission.

Additional public input will be taken during the Aug. 8 Commission meeting. Those interested in testifying may sign-up at the meeting. Speakers are limited to no more than five minutes. Speakers may provide written summaries of their testimony or supporting information to the Commission and are asked to bring 20 copies.

The Commission also accepts written comments addressed to ODFW, Fish Division - Angling Regulations Coordinator, PO Box 59, Portland OR 97207-0059. Written comments must be received by Aug. 6.

For more information on the public informational meetings, contact Todd Confer, Gold Beach Fish Biologist at 541/247-7605 or Mike Evenson, Central Point Fish Biologist, at 541/826-8774.
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Information and Education Division
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
(503) 872-5264 ext 5528
 
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