Commission meets April 21-22 in Astoria to decide on North Umpqua hatchery summer steelhead

North Umpqua River - Roseburg, OR (Douglas County)

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Commission meets April 21-22 in Astoria to decide on North Umpqua hatchery summer steelhead
Hybrid meeting will also allow remote testimony via Zoom; register 48 hours in advance for remote testimony

April 18, 2022

SALEM, Ore.—Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission will host its first in-person meeting since the pandemic began in March 2020 in Astoria on Thursday and Friday, April 21-22.

Find the full agenda at

Thursday's agenda is a tour of local fish, wildlife and habitat projects. To join, be at the Best Western Astoria Bayfront Hotel, 555 Hamburg Ave by 7:50 a.m. The tour departs just after 8 a.m. Members of the public must provide their own transportation and lunch during the tour.

Friday's meeting starts at 8 a.m. at The Loft at the Red Building, 20 Basin Street. The meeting will be livestreamed (view it on the agenda page or on YouTube) and testimony will be allowed either via Zoom or in-person.

Register to testify via Zoom no later than 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 20 (48 hours in advance of meeting) at this link 

For in-person testimony, register via the Witness Registration form available at the meeting on Friday morning.

A public forum for people to comment on topics not on the agenda is scheduled for Friday morning after the Director's report. To participate in the public forum, contact the ODFW Director's office at (503) 947-6044 or email [email protected] by Wednesday, April 20 at 8 a.m. (48 hours prior to the meeting).

Comments can also be emailed to [email protected]

Friday's meeting agenda includes informational briefings on the 2021 Annual Wolf Report (including a wolf population update) and other topics during the Director's Report, to be followed by these decision-making items:

Amend Burns Paiute Tribe Ceremonial Harvest Permit Hunt Area 
The Commission will be asked to allow limited hunting for mule deer in the Buena Vista Unit of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) and include the Buena Vista Unit in the hunt area for Burns Paiute Tribe ceremonial harvest permit for mule deer hunting.

Adopt 2022-23 Game Bird Regulations, modify wildlife area plan language:
The Commission will consider staff proposed changes from last year's regulations including:

  • Fall turkey: Increase the daily bag limit for the General Western Oregon Fall Turkey Season to two turkeys per day. The season limit of two turkeys of either sex would not change, but this proposal would allow hunters to fill both tags on the same day.
  • Northwest Permit Goose season: Reduce Canada/cackling goose bag limit from four to three per day. Dusky Canada geese would remain closed to harvest.
  • Fern Ridge Wildlife Area: Open the southern portion of the South Coyote Unit to public use, including hunting, and incorporate the area into the Wildlife Area Reservation Hunt Program.
  • Wildlife areas: Modify rule language for several wildlife areas to make it consistent across all department lands and reflect the recent 10-year review of management plans.

Set commercial and recreational halibut seasons
The International Pacific Halibut Commission set this year's fishery catch limit slightly lower than last year. For a look at the proposed recreational season that will be considered by the Fish and Wildlife Commission visit

Set ocean salmon seasons
Adopt 2022 ocean salmon seasons based on NMFS regulations
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) recently adopted ocean salmon fishing regulations for federal-jurisdiction waters from three to 200 miles offshore. The Commission will be asked to adopt matching permanent regulations for state jurisdiction waters (within three miles offshore). The primary limiting Chinook stocks considered in crafting 2022 ocean fisheries off Oregon were Columbia River natural tule and California Coastal Chinook. Other Chinook stocks of concern include Sacramento River Fall Chinook which have slightly improved, and Klamath River Fall Chinook whose abundance continues to be low. The ocean abundance forecast for Columbia River coho salmon is high at 997,200 fish, which would be slightly higher than last year's actual return.

Proposed season dates and bag limits are available on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council's website

North Umpqua hatchery summer steelhead
The Commission will be asked to determine if the North Umpqua summer steelhead hatchery production should continue, be modified, or be eliminated effective April 2022. ODFW's recent status assessment determined that the primary cause of recent low wild steelhead runs in the North Umpqua was poor ocean conditions leading to low ocean survival. Secondarily, poor freshwater conditions likely impacted survival of both out-migrating juveniles and returning adults. The assessment did not identify hatchery origin adult summer steelhead as a limiting factor to wild populations, although there are more hatchery fish on natural spawning grounds than the management threshold allows. The Commission will be asked to modify the hatchery program with a reduction in annual smolt releases from a recent average of 70,000 to 30,000 in an abundance of caution for the wild fish population.

The Commission may also meet in executive session (held pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(f)) to consider information or records that are exempt by law from public inspection, as well as to consult with legal counsel concerning legal rights and duties regarding current litigation likely to be filed as authorized by ORS 192.660 (2)(h). Representatives of the news media may attend the executive session by contacting the Director's Office prior to the meeting. Representatives of the news media are specifically directed not to report on any of the deliberations during the executive session, except to state the general subject of the session.

More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Friday, April 15th, 2022
Willamette River: Two rods allowed in upper Willamette starting April 16
: ODFW Recreation Report
Wallowa Lake : Fishing has been good for rainbow trout near the south end of the lake
Wallowa River: Some of the best steelhead fishing on the Wallowa can occur between mid-March and mid-April
Hood River: Spring Chinook retention on the Hood River will open April 15 through June 30
Clackamas River: We are now past our peak for winter steelhead returns
Dexter Reservoir: Was last stocked the week of April 3
Green Peter Reservoir: Green Peter Reservoir Report
Henry Hagg Lake: Hagg Lake continues to receive regular stockings
Hills Creek Reservoir: Hills Creek Reservoir was last stocked the week of April 3
McKenzie River: McKenzie River Fishing Report
Sandy River: Though fewer bright steelhead are being caught, fish can still be found throughout the system
Santiam River ( North Fork) : Fishing for hatchery steelhead is open year-round
Santiam River (South Fork): Steelhead fishing is open year-round
Kilchis River: Winter steelhead fishing is winding down on the Alsea
Nehalem River: The Nehalem mainstem is on the rise and may color up again by mid-week
Wilson River: The Wilson is a little low and clear
Ben Irving Reservoir: Ben Irving will most likely be murky with recent rains
Cooper Creek Reservoir: Cooper was stocked a few weeks ago
Diamond Lake: Recent snowy weather has returned to Diamond
Galesville Reservoir: ODFW recently stocked the lake with LOTS of trout
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Expect snow for the weekend
Rogue River - Middle: With rain forecast all week, the river is expected to rise quite a bit on Friday
Rogue River- Upper: The Dodge Bridge gauge is 1210 cfs and on a slow rise with 2 small crests expected through the week
Rogue River- Upper (Above Lost Creek): Expect slow fishing and plenty of snow this weekend
Saunders Lake: Saunders Lake was stocked in March with legal-size rainbow trout
Ana Reservoir: This reservoir was stocked on April 8
Duncan Reservoir: This reservoir is dry and will not be stocked in 2022
Klamath River - Upper - OR: Klamath River Fishing Report
Sprague River: Will open Friday, April 22
Thief Valley Reservoir: Thief Valley Reservoir is now nearly full

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