Last night in Salem, ODFW held an open house town hall meeting.
Based on last night’s meeting, I feel the agency is really headed in the right direction. ODFW Fish Division Director Ed Bowles and his staff made some statements that convinced me conservation of wild fish is the agency’s number one priority, while trying to balance that with the demand for more “opportunity” — hatcheries and harvest. The agency’s plan to tackle a six-species coastal river conservation plan for the Columbia to California is going to be one of the most ambitious and important conservation projects our state has ever tackled.
People from the conservation community brought up great issues last night. Rob Russell discussed the need to remove hatchery summer steelhead from coastal rivers with native summer runs (Rogue, Umpqua, Siletz). Spencer Miles discussed wild winter steelhead issues on the Sandy River. Chris Daughters made the case for a wild McKenzie River.
Angler’s discussed the decline of our native sturgeon, warm water fisheries opportunities,
The room was packed with anglers who might not agree on hatchery-wild fish issues, but sitting face to face with them in a mediated setting was beneficial to both sides. But we need you to be there at the next public ODFW meeting. Keep an eye on this schedule and sign up for the email list.
If you were at the meeting last night, what are your impressions?