[ODFW-News] Commission adopts 76-hour trap check period for
restraining predatory animals
Anne.M.Pressentin at DFW.STATE.OR.US
Fri Feb 6 18:07:34 PST 2004
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Anne Pressentin Young (503) 947-6020
Internet: www.dfw.state.or.us Fax: (503) 947-6009
For Immediate Release Friday, February 06, 2004
Commission adopts 76-hour trap check period for restraining predatory animals
Killing traps must be checked within 30 days
PORTLAND * After hearing oral testimony from three dozen people, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday adopted a 76-hour trap check time requirement for restraining traps set for predatory animals and a 30-day period for lethal traps.
In addition, the Commission voted to allow landowners, or their agents, experiencing damage by wildlife to livestock or agricultural crops a seven-day trap check period to alleviate the damage.
In making their decision, Commissioners said they needed to balance economics, harm to agricultural operations, and stress to trapped animals. They also took into account the intent of the 2001 Legislature that directed the Commission to adopt a trap check rule for predatory animals. Legislators wanted the Commission to provide some level of flexibility to landowners dealing with damage from wildlife.
Predatory animals are defined in Oregon statute as coyotes, rabbits, rodents, feral swine and birds that are, or may be, destructive to agricultural crops. The rule adopted Friday does not affect the existing law that requires trappers targeting furbearer mammals such as fox, bobcat, mink or raccoon to adhere to a 48-hour trap check time.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.
The exact language of the adopted rule is:
"When trapping predatory animals as defined in ORS 610.002:
(a) Restraining traps and snares shall be inspected at least once every 76 hours and all animals removed. However, restraining traps and snares set by a person owning, leasing, occupying, possessing or having charge of or dominion over any land, place, building, structure, wharf, pier or dock, or their agent, and set for predatory animals damaging land, livestock or agricultural or forest crops, shall be checked at least once every seven days. Any person(s) acting as an agent for a landowner shall have in their possession written authority from the landowner or lawful occupant of the land.... (b) Killing traps and snares shall be inspected at least once every 30 days and all animals removed."
*Commission recommends changes to rules for gorge "oversize" sturgeon fishery
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday said it preferred an option that would lead to an increase in the time when boat anglers are prohibited from fishing for large "oversize" white sturgeon in the Columbia River Gorge and would for the first time prohibit bank angling during the same time to decrease the handling of fish larger than five feet.
The directors of the Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife working as the Columbia River Compact will make a final decision later this spring.
Research by Oregon State University and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shows that about 2,000 fish of reproductive age reside in the area below Bonneville Dam. These fish exhibit stress when caught, and many have hook scars or hooks in their bodies or other evidence of being caught multiple times. However, many questions exist as to whether the oversize fishery is directly affecting the breeding population. White sturgeon do not begin reproducing until they exceed 60 inches, which takes about 20 years. They can live to be older than 100 years.
Four options are currently under consideration:
Option One: The existing 3.5 mile sturgeon fishing sanctuary between Beacon Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam May 1-July 15 would remain unchanged. Boat angling is not allowed and bank angling remains legal in the sanctuary area.
Option Two: The sturgeon fishing sanctuary area would increase by about two miles to the Marker 85 green navigation light upstream to Bonneville Dam between May 1 and July 31. Both bank and boat fishing would be prohibited. Biologists estimate this option would result in a 50 percent decrease in the number of sturgeon handled that are longer than 60 inches. Option two is recommended by the staffs of the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife departments.
Option Three: The sturgeon fishing sanctuary area would increase by four miles to Upper Skamania Island to Bonneville Dam between May 1 and July 31. Boat angling would be prohibited and bank angling could continue. Biologists estimated this option would result in 80 percent decrease in the number of sturgeon handled that are longer than 60 inches.
Option Four: Maintain the existing 3.5 mile sturgeon fishing sanctuary between Beacon Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam and increase the time period by 15 days to May 1 * July 31. Both boat and bank angling would be prohibited. Option four was developed and recommended by the Oregon Commission Friday.
The Commission also gave its support to a recommendation to limit in the future the number of hooks allowed in the fishery to one single-point barbless hook. Commissioners also recommended that anglers use non-corrosive hooks during this fishery.
A catch-and-release boat fishery targeting protected "oversize" white sturgeon first developed in 1992 from May to July in the Columbia River gorge. The fishery increased through 1995 and has since remained fairly stable. Between 2,800 and 5,300 adult sturgeon are caught and released annually during the fishery. "Oversized" sturgeon are longer than 60 inches and some weigh more than 300 pounds.
A "catch-and-keep" sturgeon fishery also exists in the Columbia River for those fish between 42 and 60 inches. The retention fishery is managed on a quota basis between the mouth upstream to McNary Dam. The retention season closes when the quota is reached. Catch and release sturgeon angling may continue when the retention season closes.
*Changes to black-tailed deer hunting seasons under consideration
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission heard Friday several options under consideration for future black-tailed hunting seasons.
ODFW biologists have identified declines in black-tailed deer populations, hunter success, deer harvested and hunter participation. An analysis of 40 years of buck-to-doe ratios found a drop from about 40 bucks per 100 does to about 25 bucks per 100 does. The population declines may be associated with disease, changing timber management practices that reduce the quality of deer habitat, or other factors.
The information presented to the Commission is currently being presented at public meetings being held throughout western Oregon. Information on the public meetings can be obtained at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/public/NewsArc/2004News/January/013004news.htm.
Input received at the public meetings will be forwarded to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. The Commission plans to give initial guidance on 2005 black-tailed deer seasons at its March meeting and make a final decision in June.
The Commission heard the following options:
*Buck deer season: Three options are under consideration, including:
A) Maintain current general season structure. Add a mandatory reporting and mandatory check-in requirement, and change the bag limit to a "buck with a visible antler."
B) Change the season to a 31-33 day season, alter rules for the Cascades and Wilson-Trask hunting units, change the bag limit to a "buck with a visible antler," require mandatory reporting, require mandatory check in for harvested deer in selected hunting units and create selected controlled hunts for bucks or either sex animals.
C) Create an Oct. 1-31 season, alter rules for the Cascades and Wilson-Trask hunting units, change the bag limit to a "buck with a visible antler," and create selected controlled hunts for bucks or either sex animals.
*Antlerless deer seasons: Set seasons concurrent with general buck season, phase out many 600 series "antlerless deer" hunts, and possibly end the awarding of preference points if changes are made that would significantly reduce 600 series tag numbers.
*General archery season: Use 2004 season structure for next five years, change bag limit to "buck with a visible antler."
*Multiple deer hunting opportunities: Phase out many 600 series "antlerless deer" hunts, focus remaining 600 and 800 series hunts in areas with agricultural damage, create new 100 "buck" hunts where populations are robust, and possibly end the awarding of preference points if changes are made that would significantly reduce 600 series tag numbers.
*Late archery deer season: Incorporate season into a single controlled hunt with dates consistent with late elk archery season, establish bag limit to be one deer or one buck with visible antler depending on local population.
In other business, the Commission:
· Awarded four businesses with a 2003 Fish and Wildlife Steward Award for their exemplary work to help implement the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds with their stewardship of forest lands. Award winners include: Northwest Non-Industrial Award: Mark and Jolly Krautman of Heritage Seedlings; Northwest Industrial Award: Gerald Palmer of Simpson Resource Company; Southwest Non- Industrial Award: George Sandberg; Eastern Oregon Non Industrial Award: Doug and Jo Winn.
· Chose the 2004-05 Upland Game Bird Stamp.
· Appointed John Benton of Hood River to the Fish Screening Task Force.
· Approved a rule that requires Dungeness crab commercial harvesters to report catch areas to allow evaluation of crab catch from the Washington and Oregon coasts.
Anne Pressentin Young
Information Services Manager
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
anne.m.pressentin at state.or.us
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