The Oregon Department of fish and Wildlife is inviting public comments on a revised Fisheries Management and Evaluation Plan to conduct steelhead fisheries in the Columbia basin. Comments are due on June 5th.

In 2009, ODFW submitted an application to NOAA Fisheries to receive a permit under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would allow fishing for steelhead in the Snake River basin. This application (the Fisheries Management and Evaluation Plan) summarizes the agency's knowledge of steelhead populations, impacts resulting from sport fisheries, and guidelines that explain how we as managers balance sport fisheries and conservation of wild populations. For several reasons that include resource limitations at the federal level and concurrent permitting processes for salmon fisheries and hatchery operations, the 2009 application was not processed.

Recently, ODFW revised their permit application to include more current knowledge of steelhead population status and fishery-related impacts. This plan was developed in collaboration with federal, tribal, and state fishery managers in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. That plan was resubmitted to NOAA Fisheries and, as part of the consultation process, is available for public comment.

ODFW invites Wallowa County’s steelhead enthusiasts, to make comments on this revised plan to NOAA. The link below will take you to the federal website where you will find the document, and instruction on how to submit comments. Comments must be received by June 5th.

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