Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Statement of Political Position:

Dear Deschutes River Allies,
Unfortunately, the rumor is true. A proposal has been made to provide harvest options for larger trout on the lower 100-miles of the Deschutes River. The slot-limit (2-trout between 10”-13”), which has been in place since 1979 is proposed to be replaced with a 2-trout limit ) minimum size of 8”). I believe the slot-limit has provided the finest public fishery in Oregon and should be retained.
As of this writing, there is nothing about this proposal on the ODFW web site.
I had to search the ODFW Commission site to find this proposal (which I understand has also been removed). This smacks of a cover-up.
The lower Deschutes is one of the few fisheries that is managed to sustain itself indefinitely. And it supports tremendous fishing pressure, which pours cubic bucks into the communities around it.

Depleting the numbers of larger trout in this proud fishery can benefit no one.
I seriously believe that one of the reasons why Oregon’s State Fishery agency is always broke, is that it sells our resources too cheap.
We don’t need more harvest to make money. We need better fisheries to bring people from other states. The Deschutes River is the best sports fishery money mill we have.
ODFW’s mandate is to protect wild fish and to provide fishing opportunity. The problem is that ODFW Staff has interpreted the word opportunity to mean harvest. They seem to never realize that once a fish is harvested, the opportunity is gone. The slot-limit bridges this gap. The Commission might consider that they may already be doing the best job that can be done here. But, if they need easier rules for dummies to understand, make it strictly catch and release.
The meeting where the decision will be made is on September 4 in of all places Seaside, Oregon (on Labor Day week). The page that just went missing also states that no one will be allowed to testify unless they register 24-hours in advance.
I think that this lack of disclosure and the decisions being made in Sea Side is a plan to railroad these proposed changes away from the ease of public participation.
It is an old
Bureaucratic trick to push through rules that the majority of their constituents would not agree with.
Doubtful that this bunch of Staff and Commissioners would have the fortitude to hold this same meeting in Maupin, Madras, Bend, Portland, or Welches.
As a matter of fact, I think that these cats have already made the decision.
All that is left, is the ratification, at a public meeting.
However, I am also a believer that democracy works as long as the citizens are willing to make their government govern by the will of the people.
Whatever the road blocks, we simply have to overcome them, and be a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
We can’t let these perpetrators steel all the hard work that has been put into the Deschutes fishery.

If the proposed regulation is allowed to go through, they’ve got it for a year, by that time they will probably do ten year’s-worth of damage for someone to repair.
And who but the professionals to better do the repair?
I can feel some bastard writing an order for funding, as I am writing this.
My suspicions may be a little intense, but I feel they are well thought out.
The decision to remove the slot-limit is a bad move biologically, and it is even worse since it has been done with a limited amount of public disclosure (which may be illegal as well).
This whole approach is wrong for the Deschutes, which is beyond a doubt the best fishery in Oregon. And the best part of the slot-limit is it was done by the will of the people, and by nearly unanimous consent of those people (I know, because I was involved).

I just talked to an ODFW insider, and that person basically told me that some of the staff is strongly opposed to this regulation change, but they were told to shut up in fear of retaliation.
I think it is imperative that we get mobilized to meet these issues head on.
In this case our government has apparently run totally amuck, and we must initiate a public investigation.
Ad your thoughts and pass this on to your own circle of power.
Thank you for your support in this matter.
Fish long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann
The Fly Fishing Shop, Inc.
Cell: 503-781-6468