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Oregon postpones 2018 sport abalone season until further evaluation


by ODFW
12-28-2017
Website

ODFW is calling a time-out on abalone season, postponing the 2018 recreational season that was set to open on Jan. 1until further review and Commission consideration in March.

The decision follows California’s closure of its 2018 abalone season due to concerns over the health of the population. Abalone stocks in California have fallen below target levels as abalone face ongoing environmental conditions that have reduced their food sources. Since California Fish and Wildlife closed their season on Dec. 7, ODFW has seen a dramatic spike in inquiries about the Oregon fishery, which is dwarfed by the California fishery. (Oregon issues about 300 abalone permits per year, while California issues 25,000 or more.)

Southern Oregon is on the northern edge of red abalone range and the state’s fishery is managed conservatively to protect the health of Oregon’s relatively small population. “California’s closure could lead to a large fishing effort shift to Oregon, which would cause a spike in harvest under the current rules. Yet we suspect that Oregon’s abalone population has declined from historic levels,” says Scott Groth, ODFW shellfish biologist for the south coast. “This emergency action postpones the fishery so we can hold off on issuing 2018 abalone permits until we’ve had a chance to do a more thorough review of the situation.”

ODFW staff plan to evaluate the fishery (including potential impacts from California’s closure), solicit public input, and present suggestions, including possible rule changes, to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their March 16 meeting in Salem.

Annual regulations require recreational abalone harvesters to purchase an Oregon shellfish license and obtain a free annual abalone/scallop permit from ODFW. ODFW will continue to issue permits for scallops after Jan. 1.

Abalone are highly prized and the fishery creates a high demand, primarily among divers. While seven species exist on the West Coast, five of these have some listing status under the Endangered Species Act. Red abalone are the only species still fished in the contiguous United States, and southern Oregon and northern California are the only areas where recreational harvest has occurred in recent years. Commercial harvest is not allowed in either state.



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Nehalem River: Nehalem River Fishing Report
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Salmon River: Salmon River Fishing Report
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Trask River: Trask River Fishing Report
Wilson River: Wilson River Fishing Report
Yaquina River: Yaquina River Fishing Report
Applegate Reservoir: Applegate Reservoir Fishing Report
Applegate River: Applegate River Fishing Report
Arizona Pond: Arizona Pond Fishing Report
Ben Irving Reservoir: Ben Irving Reservoir Fishing Report
Chetco River: Chetco River Fishing Report
Coos River: Coos River Basin Fishing Report
Coquille River: Coquille River Fishing Report
Diamond Lake: Diamond Lake Fishing Report
Emigrant Reservoir: Emigrant Reservoir Fishing Report
Expo Pond: Expo Pond Fishing Report
Fish Lake : Fish Lake Fishing Report
Floras Lake: Floras Lake Fishing Report
Galesville Reservoir: Galesville Reservoir Fishing Report
Garrison Lake: Garrison Lake Fishing Report
Hemlock Lake: Hemlock Lake Fishing Report
Howard Prairie Reservoir: Howard Prairie Reservoir Fishing Report
Hyatt Lake: Hyatt Lake Fishing Report
Illinois River: Illinois River Fishing Report
Lake Marie: Lake Marie Fishing Report
Lake Selmac: Lake Selmac Fishing Report
Lemolo Lake: Lemolo Lake Fishing Report
Loon Lake: Loon Lake Fishing Report
Lost Creek Reservoir: Lost Creek Reservoir Fishing Report
Plat I Reservoir: Plat I Reservoir Fishing Report
Smith River: Smith River Fishing Report
Tenmile Lakes: Tenmile Lakes Fishing Report
Willow Lake: Willow Lake Fishing Report


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