Oregon Position Statements

CCA Oregon Position on Harvest Methods (Adopted July 8, 2008)

“CCA Oregon strongly opposes the use of non-selective harvest methods.”

Non-selective harvest is having a significant negative impact on depleted and ESA-listed stocks of salmon and steelhead. The failure of salmon and steelhead recovery efforts in the Pacific Northwest makes it clear that the restoration and rebuilding of depleted and ESA-listed stocks requires harvest reform to fully realize the investments in hatcheries, habitat, and altered hydro operations.

Restoration and rebuilding of these stocks will require widespread use of commercial and recreational fishing methods capable of targeting stocks strong enough for harvest while minimizing impacts to other less viable stocks. These methods must reduce unacceptably high mortality rates and bycatch levels so that targeted stocks may be fully utilized.

In most cases this will require the live sorting of fish essential to recovery efforts from those that are not. Fish not harvested must be released unharmed and in a fashion conducive to their survival.

State and federal fishery managers and elected officials are strongly urged to accelerate the implementation of harvest reform as a critical component of salmon and steelhead recovery efforts.

CCA Oregon Position on Harvest Management (Adopted July 8, 2008)

“CCA Oregon supports harvest plans focused on conserving and protecting northwest wild salmon and steelhead stocks and opposes harvest plans that do not adequately protect ESA-listed salmon and steelhead.”

Harvest of Pacific Northwest fish stocks too often occurs at the expense of conservation. Managers tend to base harvest plans on pre-season forecasts that often fail to accurately predict the abundance and/or timing of anadromous fish returns. Fish run forecasting is far from an exact science and CCA Oregon believes that forecasting models, and the harvest decisions based on them, should make conservation and adequate escapement the first priorities. The fish resources of this state belong to present and future Oregonians, therefore harvest should be managed in a manner that first respects conservation and then maximizes economic, social and cultural benefits.

CCA Oregon Position on Derelict Fishing Gear (Adopted July 8, 2008)

“CCA Oregon supports efforts to locate and remove existing derelict fishing gear. We also support sanctions intended to reduce lost fishing gear and provide for timely removal should it occur.”

Derelict fishing gear is an internationally recognized problem that occurs everywhere fishing takes place. The detrimental effect of derelict fishing gear defacing and polluting marine environments has gained worldwide attention and, though increased awareness has inspired some corrective action, it has not been enough. The effect of derelict fishing gear, especially abandoned nets, is to kill untold thousands of fish, seabirds, marine mammals, crabs, and other organisms by continuously fishing long after the gear becomes lost. The use of modern, rot-resistant synthetics compounds and prolongs these ill-effects. Derelict fishing gear has also been identified as a possible source for the spread of invasive species. CCA Oregon supports programs to find and remove derelict fishing gear wherever it exists.

CCA Oregon Position on Hatchery Funding and Reform (Adopted Dec. 8, 2013)

"CCA Oregon supports the important role hatcheries have to play in providing harvest opportunities while conserving, sustaining, and rebuilding salmon and steelhead stocks. We also support efforts to improve the efficacy of hatchery programs to ensure that, consistent with native fish conservation, opportunities are not unnecessarily constrained."

Hatcheries play a key role in the conservation, recovery, and rebuilding of natural populations of salmon and steelhead while providing opportunities for sustainable harvest. Hundreds of hatchery programs operate throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest supplying a large percentage of the harvestable fish in the region.

Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG) findings point to the urgent need to implement effective integrated or segregated hatchery broodstock management practices to achieve broodstock standards by including appropriate numbers of natural-origin fish in hatchery broodstock and/or limiting the number of hatchery-origin fish spawning naturally. Unfortunately, many hatcheries lack the funding needed to upgrade facilities and agencies have not implemented all these key broodstock management reforms. CCA Oregon supports science-based efforts to reform hatchery operations consistent with ongoing salmon recovery efforts and urges federal and state agencies to provide the funding and leadership needed to promptly implement these reforms.

We feel that before production levels are changed there needs to be a clear demonstration that while operating at current levels hatcheries are causing a specific conservation problem and that the problem can not be addressed by improved broodstock standards, stocking regimes, increased harvest and angling opportunities or other regulatory actions less likely to reduce opportunity.  We further believe that conservation measures should be monitored and periodically reviewed for effectiveness at the population level so that consistent with native fish conservation, opportunities for fisheries are not unnecessarily constrained.        

CCA Oregon Position on Catch Monitoring and Evaluation (Adopted July 8, 2008)

“CCA Oregon supports the development and implementation of systematic catch monitoring processes to determine harvest impacts on non-target species. We support mandatory independent monitoring and evaluation of commercial harvest whenever depleted and/or ESAlisted salmon and/or steelhead stocks are present.”  

Large scale commercial fisheries targeting abundant species utilized for industrial purposes or direct human consumption have a history of detrimentally impacting other important stocks through bycatch. Loss of even a small number of mature members of depleted or ESA-listed salmon and steelhead stocks through bycatch can have a severe negative impact. In addition, massive removals of forage fishes can have a direct impact on the health of non-target populations, including depleted and ESA-listed stocks. State and federal fisheries management officials should take aggressive action to minimize bycatch impacts on depleted and ESA-listed stocks and the forage base they depend on for ocean survival.

Independent monitoring can help minimize the bycatch of depleted or ESA listed salmon and steelhead stocks and interrupt potential overharvest of target stocks. CCA Oregon supports mandatory independent monitoring and evaluation of commercial harvests. Observers should have the expertise to identify bycatch and overharvest problems at an early stage, and have the authority to impose appropriate and timely remedies.

CCA Oregon Position on Nutrient Enrichment of the Freshwater Ecosystem (Adopted July 8, 2008)

“CCA Oregon supports the deliberate distribution of hatchery salmon carcasses and /or analogs for the purpose of increasing marine nutrients in freshwater ecosystems where such increase would benefit the ecosystem. We also support natural nutrient enrichment through elevated escapement goals.”

Spawned salmon carcasses provide essential nutrients and energy-rich carbon to freshwater salmon and steelhead rearing habitat. Independent scientific research shows that the planting of hatchery salmon carcasses or simulated salmon carcasses (analogs) translates directly to high juvenile salmon growth rates and abundance as well as improved health of the entire ecosystem. Reduced wild salmon adult returns to freshwater systems have resulted in significantly less marine nutrients and energy-rich carbon compromising wild juvenile growth and abundance as well as the health of the entire ecosystem. Independent scientific reviews have also recommended steps to reduce possible negative impacts to the ecosystem and CCA Oregon supports those findings and recommendations.

CCA Oregon Position on Predation (Adopted May 18, 2008)

“CCA Oregon supports science-based efforts to decrease the impacts of predation on adult and juvenile fish populations including salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. Many predator populations have reached artificial and unnatural levels due to human actions and conflicting laws.”

CCA's Position on Marine Protected Areas/No Fishing Zones (Adopted May 18, 2008)

CCA will fight to protect access for recreational fishermen to all public fishing areas unless...

...there is a clear indication that recreational fishermen are the cause of a specific conservation problem and that less severe conservation measures, such as gear restrictions, possession limits, size restrictions, quotas, or closed seasons will not adequately address the targeted conservation problem.

...the closed-area regulation includes specific, measurable criteria to determine the conservation benefit of the closed area on the affected stocks of fish and provides a timetable for periodic review of the continued need for the closed area at least once every three years.

...the closed area is no larger than that which is supported by the best available science.

...provision is made to reopen the closed area to recreational fishing whenever the targeted conservation problem no longer exists.