News From ODFW’s Commission: Game Bird Regs, Director Search, 1,100-acre Minam Buy


The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the Oregon Game Bird Hunting Regulations for 2024-2025 during its meeting in Tillamook on Friday. The regulations include changes to expand beardless turkey permit area; open the white and white-fronted goose season in the Mid-Columbia Goose Zone earlier; reduce the bag limit for harlequin ducks; simplify wildlife area hunt process by removing the requirement that hunters successful in a drawing purchase reservation daily hunt permit before checking in. 


Also on Friday, the Commission updated its recruitment plan for a new agency director providing more details on timing for public and Tribal input. The recruitment is being handled by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services and Motus Recruiting. A total of 23 applicants met the minimum requirement for the director position; an interview screening panel of several commissioners and representatives from the Governor’s Office will refine this list to 2-4 final candidates on May 3. Final candidates will meet with Governor Kotek and Tribal Representatives on or before May 9 and be part of a public Q&A at the Commission meeting in Salem on May 10.  

ODFW will open an online public form the week of April 29 where members of the public can submit questions for the Q&A. The Q&A will be livestreamed via ODFW’s YouTube channel, where viewers can offer additional comments and reactions. After the Q&A, Commissioners will meet in Executive Session to interview the final candidates and then reconvene publicly to potentially offer the job to one of the candidates. 

In other business Friday, the Commission: 
Approved funding for Private Forest Accord (PFA) Grant Program: A new grant program administered by ODFW funds projects that provide a conservation benefit for the specific aquatic species addressed by Oregon Department of Forestry’s PFA Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The Commission approved funding of 25 projects totaling over $10 million recommended by the PFA Advisory Committee. 

Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund (OCRF) Grant Program: Approved OCRF funding for an emergency funding request for the Palensky-Hwy 30 Wildlife Underpass to help provide safe migratory passage for the northern red-legged frogs. The Commission also approved expenditure from the OCRF to support insurance requirements for a limited number of projects that were previously approved.  

Land acquisition: Approved the purchase of 3.86 acres of land in Redmond for a future ODFW office to replace the current Bend location and an additional 1,097 acres to add to the Minam River Wildlife Area. 

Adopted the 2024 Sport and Commercial Pacific halibut regulations: The International Pacific Halibut Commission set this year’s fishery catch limit at 1.47 million pounds (for Area 2A – OR, WA, and CA) which is 50,000 pounds lower than last year. For a look at the proposed recreational season visit this map

Adopted permanent regulations for ocean salmon seasons: The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) recently adopted ocean salmon fishing regulations for federal-jurisdiction waters from three to 200 nautical miles offshore. The Commission adopted matching permanent regulations for state jurisdiction waters (within three miles offshore.) See this map or this news release for more details on recreational ocean salmon fisheries. 

Set new annual limits for commercial bay tidal clam harvest: New annual landing limits for the commercial bay clam dive fishery in Tillamook Bay established by temporary rule were set into permanent rule; and there was a housekeeping change to title of the related rule.