(1) The Legislative Assembly hereby declares the necessity to review all options and means for the protection and restoration of Oregonís salmon resource that promote local economic development and enjoyment by all the citizens of Oregon. Options and means shall include operation of salmon production facilities, in cooperation with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, by both public and private nonprofit agencies as well as by public local partnerships, to meet local production and harvest needs as well as to help restore and maintain natural salmon spawning populations. Such cooperative production projects shall be operated using scientifically sound hatchery practices and shall be consistent with objectives to protect and restore natural fish production.
(2) The State Department of Fish and Wildlife shall:
(a) Review and revise existing state administrative rules so that the different forms of hatchery production are recognized as a necessary and critical element in the stateís salmon production system in order to provide harvest opportunities for Oregonís citizens. In so doing, the department shall identify low natural production areas and, using genetically compatible stocks approved by the department, encourage volunteer efforts such as the salmon and trout enhancement program to maintain and to enhance production.
(b) Identify existing private and public salmon production facilities that are currently either underutilized or subject to decommissioning and that may be appropriate for other forms of operation.
(c) Inventory other appropriate local sites, identify possible types of production facilities, recommend stock selection and release size, and assist in securing the acquisition of brood stock approved by the department that maximizes local production.
(d) Investigate and implement ways to improve hatchery smolt survival and reduce predation by such means as night releases, net pen acclimation, alternate release sites, volitional and other release strategies, transport and other means that may be effective and consistent with the conservation of native salmon and genetic resources.
(e) Make recommendations on methods by which operations of facilities referred to in this subsection and subsection (3) of this section can generate revenue for sustainable production, including but not limited to state bonding, license surcharges, ad valorem taxes, local economic development funds, service districts, sale of excess eggs and salmon, and gifts, grants and donations.
(f) Identify needed monitoring and evaluation activities to ensure protection of natural spawning fish populations and to assess the contribution of such cooperative projects to public fisheries.
(g) Assist in developing, for department approval, plans of operation for such cooperative hatchery projects consistent with applicable rules and standards of sound, scientific fish management practice.
(3) The department shall encourage and assist in planning hatchery facilities that seek to implement innovative plans or programs designed to meet production for harvest needs consistent with conservation objectives.
(4) The State Fish and Wildlife Commission shall approve, prior to implementation, operational plans for any fish propagation facilities operated by contractor agreement with other state or federal agencies, local governments, special districts and nonprofit organizations. [1995 c.469 §§2,3,4; 2007 c.71 §169]
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Last modified: August 7, 2008