Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ODFW Priorities 2009-2011 - What is Missing here?

I copied this from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's website. Under agency priorities the items below are listed exactly as they appear on that website.

Agency Priorities for 2009-2011

•Promote participation in hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and development of outdoor skills
•Continue to implement the Conservation and Near shore Strategies
•Increase workforce diversity
•Promote career development and leadership opportunities
•Implement strategies to increase fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities

Is there something missing here? Do you see any reference to maybe...PROTECTING WILD SALMONIDS AND THEIR HABITAT???????

What happened to ODFW's mission statement ? "To protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations"
Well it's still there but one has to ask if this agency is living up to that statement. Instead it seems like ODFW's main thrust is what is covered in their priorities for the next couple of years. Get people out on the river and target angling opportunities.
They made their intentions well known as far back as 2001 when they catered to a handful of north coast bait guides and started the steelhead broodstock programs on several coastal rivers. Then the whole coastal cutthroat trout debacle of 2004 when they were poorly prepared to present convincing arguments in favor of a harvest of these wild trout....a mistake they did not repeat in 2008 when the commission approved a harvest of these wild trout even though ODFW's evidence for such a harvest was sketchy at best
Then of course the desire by ODFW and a few locals on the North Umpqua to once again allow a harvest of wild winter steelhead on that river.
Actually their priorities have never been clearer to me. Wild salmon and steelhead will be stuck sucking hind tit in favor of selling tags and licenses and increasing angling opportunities.
It makes sense that the N.Umpqua steelhead would be the next target since ODFW has marginalized wild salmonid populations over the years and the North Umpqua steelhead were just about all that was left to exploit.
I've said it before and will say it again that I have no confidence in this agency. While you might be saying "So tell us something that we don't know Shane" and it's true that I bitch about ODFW a lot. The thing is that other former ODFW cheerleaders are now doing the same! It took an ill conceived fee increase to wake people up but at least they have woke up. It might be too late but an fed up populace can make a difference in a constructive way.
I would urge any of you that can to attend the upcoming public budget meetings that ODFW will hold throughout the state. Ask questions and demand answers.
It's obvious that ODFW has put conservation issues on the back burner and even though they recently found evidence of the harm that sodium sulfite egg cures cause it should be noted that they did not initiate the study nor did they pay for it!
It's been said many times in many places that indifference to what is important will kill more wild salmon and steelhead than gill nets, sea lions and sports anglers.

1 comment:

  1. shane please post the dates for the odfw meetings ,id like to go so i can atleast learn a little more about what they are doing