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Public meetings begin Monday on proposed fee increases for hunting and fishing licenses in Oregon.
Pete Springer reports.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has released a controversial plan that would remove some hatchery fish from some coastal rivers to protect wild salmon and trout.
Environment | News | Fish & Wildlife | localSept. 3, 2015 7:05 p.m.
Fishing restrictions on 10 bodies of water in Northeast Oregon have been temporarily lifted, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is moving to buy more than 10,000 acres to add to a wildlife area on the lower Deschutes River.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists have discovered the first documented examples of Oregon chinook salmon spawning without swimming to the ocean and back.
Measure 81 was on the ballot in November and aimed to ban the use of gillnets on the Columbia River. But many of its advocates abandoned it months before Election Day. Instead, they backed a plan introduced by Governor John Kitzhaber to regulate the gillnetting industry through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife outside of the initiative process. Kitzhaber's plan would ban gillnets on the main stem of the Columbia, where commercial fishermen would only be able to use seine nets. Environmental advocates say those nets are better for ecological health. Commercial gillnet fishermen would be relegated to off-channel bays and sloughs. Gillnet fishermen strongly oppose the plan, telling OPB that it could hurt commercial fishermen financially, plus there's no room in the off-channel areas for more boats. They also note the new method — seine netting — is currently outlawed. Editor's Note: The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will be taking public testimony at 8 a.m. Friday at the Willamette Room at the Portland Airport Holiday Inn. They will likely vote on the proposal that day.
A bald eagle used to be a rare sight in Oregon, but the species has rebounded to the point where it's no longer listed as threatened. The eagle came off the federal Endangered Species list in 2007 but remained on Oregon's threatened species list until this month. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, "Biologists estimated a minimum population of 570 nesting pairs of bald eagles in Oregon in 2010, compared to just 65 pairs in 1978." Eagles will continue to be protected as non-game wildlife, meaning they can't be hunted. The law also prohibits disturbing their nests or "worrying" the birds.
The number of young hunters in Oregon is decreasing. Over the last 10 years, sales of Oregon hunting licenses to people between the ages of 12 and 17 have dropped by nearly 20 percent. Those following the issue suggest that technological distractions along with a decrease in available land are two potential reasons for the decline. A lot of work is going into reversing these findings. The Oregon Department of Fishing and Wildlife has started working alongside organizations such as the Boy Scouts to promote hunting to youths. Their Mentored Youth Program allows children between nine and 13 to hunt without having a hunters education pass, as long as they are accompanied by a licensed hunter over the age of 21. Hunting provides $516 million to Oregon's economy, and many hunters say it is also a significant part of Oregon's heritage.
Some of what was once deemed flotsam on the 66-foot Japanese dock that washed ashore in Oregon in early June is now being identified as potentially invasive to the area's Pacific coastline. The Northern pacific sea star and Japanese shore crab are two of the species that have been identified as particularly harmful. Scientists at Oregon State University are keeping a blog with the most up-to-date list of invasive species — so far they've discovered about 50. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has also included the public in the search. They'd like people who see organisms attached to marine debris to send photos with details. According to John Chapman, an aquatic invasive species specialist from OSU's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, more invasive organisms will likely be discovered in coming weeks.
When a sheep or cow is killed, the first question is often: was a wolf responsible? And there's a lot riding on the answer. A wolf can be killed if it is found responsible for multiple livestock deaths and new legisalation provides financial compensation for ranchers if it's confirmed that their livestock were killed by wolves. If a domestic animal is taken down by a cougar, bear or other predator, however, ranchers are not compensated. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is the agency that investigates suspected wolf kills and determines the eventual outcome for both the wolf and the rancher. Earlier this week, ODFW announced its decision to kill two wolves linked to multiple livestock deaths. One of the wolves in question is the alpha male for one of Oregon's three wolf packs and conservationists say killing him will essentially lead to the decimation of the entire pack. A protest agains the wolf kill order resulted in two arrests at the ODFW offices in Salem.