Oregon: Sportsmen’s Caucus Hosts Facilities Meeting with Department of Fish and Wildlife

On May 17, the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a meeting with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to discuss the status of ODFW’s facilities and budget, particularly hatchery programs and associated budgetary needs.

The meeting, organized by Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Brad Witt and Sal Esquivel and Senators Dennis Linthicum and Lew Frederick, focused primarily on hatchery funding streams, designated hatchery purposes, fisheries production goals, operational costs, maintenance and technological needs, and the overall hatchery strategic plan. As ODFW has noted, hatchery fish comprise roughly 70 percent of all fish caught by the state’s anglers, and Oregon’s Fish Propagation Program “…produces fish through hatchery production to augment natural production, and to provide fish for sport and commercial fisheries.”

ODFW Director Curt Melcher was present, along with other key staff to provide data and a historical overview to help inform legislators on the Department’s facilities and budgetary needs. As the primary agency tasked with managing Oregon’s fish and wildlife resources, ODFW is staffed by trained professionals with backgrounds in a wide variety of fields, including fisheries biology, law enforcement, lands management, and numerous other disciplines. This allows the ODFW to carry out on-the-ground conservation efforts in order to meet the state’s conservation priorities.

Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Brad Witt noted,"We sincerely appreciate Director Melcher and ODFW staff meeting with the Oregon Sportsmen’s Caucus to brief legislators on Oregon’s hatchery programs and budgetary needs. Hatcheries play a key role in mitigating a variety of adverse impacts on fish, while sustaining opportunities for sport, commercial and tribal fisheries. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with ODFW to help ensure robust fish populations throughout our state."

Staff from the Oregon Department of Treasury also attended and spoke about the bonding process for public works/maintenance projects.

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