The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking sport anglers to speak up and help shape the 2015 Pacific halibut and groundfish seasons.

“This is an opportunity for sport anglers to provide their input on proposed changes to the Pacific halibut catch sharing plan and sport groundfish regulations for 2015”, said Lynn Mattes, Project Leader for Recreational Groundfish and Halibut. “There are new halibut proposals for Oregon as a whole, as well as each subarea.”

In addition to halibut, ODFW is asking anglers for their input on changes to the management of nearshore rockfish species. The federal quota for nearshore rockfish will be reduced 26 percent next year and anglers will be asked to weigh on a variety of alternatives for responding to the decrease.

Anglers wishing to participate in the season-setting process may do so in one of two ways: Attend one of four public meetings scheduled in October, or complete an on-line survey.

The four public meetings will all start at 7 p.m. and will be held:

· Monday, Oct. 6 at the Holiday Inn Express, 204 W. Marine Dr. in Astoria,

· Tuesday, Oct. 7 at the ODFW Marine Resources Program main office, 2040 SE Marine Science Dr. in Newport (webcast available, see details below)

· Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Best Western Beach Front Inn, 16008 Boat Basin Rd. in Brookings

· Thursday, Oct. 9 at the Red Lion Hotel, 1313 N. Bayshore Dr. in Coos Bay.

Those who can’t attend a meeting can still participate in the season-setting process through on-line surveys – one for halibut and one for bottomfish. The surveys can be found at:

· Halibut survey

· Groundfish survey

“There is no substitute for getting together and discussing the issues,” Mattes said. “But we realize many people may not have time to attend a meeting, which is why we’re using the online surveys to augment the public meetings.”

Webcast details

The Newport meeting will be webcast for those who cannot attend a meeting in person, but would still like to hear the discussions.

Join the meeting at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/join/738420615

· Use your microphone and speakers

· Or, call in using your telephone.

o Dial +1 (872) 240-3312

o Access Code: 738-420-615

o Audio PIN: Shown in the GoTo Meeting dialogue box on your computer screen after joining the meeting

· Meeting ID: 738-420-615.

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