ODFW to Limit Commercial Anchovy Fishing

Columbia River

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers will restrict commercial anchovy fishing in the Columbia River Oct. 3 due to uncertainty around the impacts the anchovy catch has on salmon and the local ecosystem.

According to Maggie Sommer, ODFW marine fisheries manager, about 5,200 metric tons of anchovy have been landed in Oregon so far this year, nearly all coming from the Columbia River. In the past, total annual harvest in Oregon has averaged around 67 metric tons. The overall allowable annual catch limit set by the Pacific Fishery Management Council is 9,750 metric tons for waters off Oregon and Washington.

“It’s the large increase in the amount of anchovy landings from the Columbia River area that has been the focus of discussion,” said Sommer.

The management action will move the bulk of the commercial anchovy fishery seaward of the Buoy 10 line. Small-scale bait fishing in the river will be allowed to continue, but boats must go to the ocean to seek larger volumes of anchovies if the demand continues.

“We’re taking action because we don’t have a good assessment of impacts on salmon and other fish species from unintended bycatch in the seine nets,” said Sommer. “Potential effects of catching and removing large numbers of anchovies from a small area on species dependent on anchovies as a food source are also something we need to consider.”

There has been an active commercial seine fishery for anchovies in the lower Columbia River for many years, with regular landings into Washington and intermittent landings into Oregon. In prior years, the catch has primarily been used as bait in recreational salmon and tuna fisheries, but in 2016 most of the anchovies landed into Oregon have been destined for human consumption. This year’s anchovy fishery in Oregon has filled in some of the gap left by the closure of sardine fishing on the west coast to protect and rebuild the sardine population.

“We have been closely monitoring the fishery through regular communication with fishers and processors, tracking landings, reviewing logbooks, and observing landings dockside,” said Sommer. “We have also been collaborating with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to observe fishing operations at sea.”

ODFW will begin working with interested parties to evaluate the fishery and determine how the 2017 fishing season can balance the economic benefits with conservation goals that include protecting ESA-listed salmon and maintaining an adequate forage base.

More Reports

OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Alsea River: Alsea River Fishing Report
Kilchis River: Kilchis River Fishing Report
Nestucca River: Nestucca River and Three Rivers Fishing Report
Salmon River: Salmon River Fishing Report
Siletz River: Siletz River Fishing Report
Siletz River: Siletz River Fishing Report
Siuslaw River: Siuslaw River Fishing Report
Tillamook Bay: Tillamook Bay Fishing Report
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 Basin Fishing Report
Diamond Lake: Diamond Lake Fishing Report
Elk River: Elk River 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
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
Loon Lake: Loon Lake Fishing Report
Plat I Reservoir: Plat I Reservoir Fishing Report
Smith River: Smith River Fishing Report
Tenmile Lakes: Tenmile Basin Fishing Report

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