Some worried about ODFW hatchery plan

COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- Some south coast fishermen are worried that the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife's proposed new hatchery policy will mean fewer fish in south coast rivers.

ODFW says conservation is not in a crisis mode, but now is the time to better conserve Oregon's native fish species.

A lot of people here on the south coast aren't pleased with the new plan. "They're kind of taking broad brush strokes, and when you're trying to balance the whole coast, someone is going to get impacted harder than other people," said Eric Farm, a port commissioner.

Farm says it looks like the south coast is taking the hardest punch.

"I think that's why we have such an issue with it, is there's some increases to the north, but all the decreases seem to be down in the south," Farm said.

Half of all the fish released on the coast are released in Coos Bay, and ODFW says that won't change. "Coos Bay area is still going to be the main part for hatcheries on the coast and no hatcheries will be shut down," said Ed Bowles, the head of fisheries for ODFW.

But Farm says the hatcheries will see a 5% percent decrease in production. "Until we get a good cost benefit analysis, I'd hope this whole thing kind of goes on hold, but it appears it's kind of moving pretty quick," Farm said.

As of now, the proposal is set to go in front of the Fish & Wildlife commission in December.