Almost no one complains more about the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife than I do. I take exception to their marginalization of native salmonids like coastal cutthroat trout, wild winter steelhead and various wild salmon species. They seem to be more interested in selling licenses than actually living up to their mission of good stewardship of our native fish.
It's extremely easy to sit back and second guess all that I believe they do incorrectly. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback and believe me there are plenty who do this.
Laziness and complacency are epidemics among the sports fishing crowds here in this region. We complain the loudest but do the least and then cry like newborn babies when things don't go our way or the ODFW does something we don't like.
Well guess what? The opportunity to actually have our collective voices heard is available. ODFW is seeking public input for fishing regulation changes for the 2009 season. This input is available to the public every four years and if you don't think that you can make a difference then guess again. In 2004 ODFW staff proposed a harvest season for coastal cutthroat trout and scheduled public meetings to give concerned sports anglers a chance to speak out in support or opposition to this proposal. Those of us that opposed this horrendous proposal showed up in Tillamook to let our feeling be known and it made a difference! To this date coastal cutthroat trout on the north coast remain protected with catch and release angling only.
I've been assured by ODFW officials that this stupid proposal will be revisited this next year that will affect the 2009 season.
Now before you say that you cannot attend these public meetings and think you have gotten yourself from actually doing something here is your chance to continue to be able to sit on your lazy ass but still contribute.
You can submit your proposals for regulations changes in writing.The 2009 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation Development packets are available to the public at local ODFW offices, the headquarters office in Salem, or online at the link below
Pretty simple huh? You can make a difference! Don't vicariously live your conservation strategies and ideas through me or anyone else! Get involved...please! If you can show up at public meeting that would be great but if you cannot and are willing to invest the price of a postage stamp on wild fish and reasonable managment in the years ahead then please help out. The future of wild fish in the state of Oregon depend upon it.
Don't live in Oregon but buy a license and fish here? Your input is also welcome.
I will be writing more on this in the next few weeks and months and share with those of you who care what I would like to see changed in the future.