The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has released rules for three new marine reserves on the Oregon Coast. The state Legislature approved the reserves at Cape Perpetua, Cascade Head, and Cape Falcon. The reserves will protect species like rockfish, shrimp, and sardines that live near the shore.
A total fishing ban would apply in the core areas of the reserves. In other protected areas, the new rules would allow some salmon fishing and crabbing.
The agency is holding public meetings to invite comments on the rules. The first meeting is tomorrow night in Astoria. But the proposed fishing regulations won’t go into effect until 2014 at the earliest.
Cristen Don is with the ODFW. She says the state will collect two years of baseline data first. Underwater sleds with video cameras and human divers will count fish and invertebrates.
“We do do some hook and line surveys to get at fish length data, but most of it is underwater, basically camera surveys.”
ODFW will also collect economic data from nearby coastal communities. Don says the baseline data will help scientists learn whether the marine reserves are having an impact.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network