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Sweet Home, Oregon
October 3, 2012     The New Era Paper
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October 3, 2012

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lte - October 3, 2012 Page 13 The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet at 8 a.m. Fri- day, Oct. 5, at ODFW Headquarters in Salem (3406 Cherry Ave. NE) to set 2013 big game hunting regula- tions. Several new big game regula- tions could be adopted during the meeting. Elk hunting on National Forest land on the west slope of the Cas- cades may change in 2013. ODFW is proposing that the bag limit become bull-only on National Forest land for all hunters, including archery, muz- zleloader and disabled hunters who formerly were able to take any elk. The change is due to a decline in elk numbers and calf ratios (num- ber of calves per cows) in many ar- eas of the west Cascades. Protecting females should help boost the popu- lation. Due to similar concerns on the Ochoco, the commission will be asked to split the unit into two types of archery tags, one with an antler- less and one with a bull-only bag limit. The total number of archery tags will remain the same but antler- less harvest on National Forest land will be reduced, again to help boost populations. Wenaha, Mt Emily and Walla Walla units are known for their tro- phy elk hunting and archery tags with a bag limit of one bull elk are difficult to draw. But ODFW and Oregon State Police are seeing spike-only tag holders take branch-antlered bulls in these units, pretending they shot the elk in another unit. To close this loophole, ODFW is proposing to change spike-only archery tags from general season to controlled in these units. Bowhunters who draw the con- trolled tag will only be able to hunt in that particular unit too, which will restrict tags to hunters truly dedi- cated to these units. New proposed rules would also require a controlled elk tag to archery hunt deer in the three units, again to reduce poach- WWW. PRIM,O, SINGMOTO RS.COM A Photo courtesy of Mike Gauvin/ODFW sockeye salmon spawns in the Metolius River. ing. and Wildlife fish biologist on Sat- Another change that may af- urday, Sept. 27, confirmed the first fect hunters is that beginning with observed spawning sockeye in the 2012 deer and elk tags, failing to Metolius River in over 45 years. report the results of their hunt by Mike Gauvin spotted the fish the deadline (Jan. 31, 2013 for most while conducting annual kokanee tags) couldcost them $10. The fee spawning surveys in the Metolius would be assessed when the hunter River near Camp Sherman. purchased his or her 2014 hunting The fish is one of 85 sockeye re- license. Only one $10 fee would be leased above the dam this year. They assessed per individual, had spent one or two years in the Reporting hunt results for all ocean prior to making their return to deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, cou- the Deschutes River basin. gar, bear and turkey tags has been The sockeye and kokanee mandatory for several years. ODFW spawning migration is just begin- needs the information to determine ning, Gauvin said, and fish biolo- harvest levels, estimate populations gists from ODFW, the Confederated and set tag numbers But last year, Tribes of W aon Springs and Port- results were reported on only 41 per- land General Electric will be in the cent of tags. field until the end of October count- The Oregon State Legislature ing spawning fish. , gave ODFW the ability to charge a The reintroduction program penalty fee of up to $25 last year. began in 2007 by outplanting over Deer and elk tags are some of the a half million each of juvenile steel- most under-reported and informa- head and chinook in the Crooked, tion from these hunts is critical for Deschutes, and Metolius rivers. setting tag numbers. , To try and reestablish a sockeye Other proposed changes include run in the Metolius River, kokanee language changes to clarify the deft- from Lake Billy Chinook were col- nition of "spike only" and proof of lected and released below the dam to sex requirements, migrate to the ocean. A meeting agenda is at: http:// "The reintroduction program dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/ has been a large, complex and co- minutes/12/10_oct/index.aspordinated effort by many stakehold- * * * * * ers." Gauvin said. "We're still in the An Oregon Department of Fish beginning stages of this program, so it feels really good to see suits of our work." tangible re- MidValley Steelheaders Chap- ter will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Albany Senior Center, 489 Water Ave. Justin Ainsworth, shellfish biol- ogist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Marine Resourc- es Program, will discuss Dungeness crab biology and management. His presentation will describe how crabs grow, reproduce, and live in estuar- ies and the open ocean. For more information, contact Don Heintzman at (541) 928-5729. 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