State Rep. Brad Witt

State Rep. Brad Witt speaking at the Columbia City 2019 Memorial Day Ceremony.

On Saturday, July 27, I was able to reach out to constituents by scheduling Town Hall meetings in St. Helens and Clatskanie. I want to thank Greg Pettit, Chair of the Columbia County Democratic Central Committee for his contributions to the St. Helens Town Hall.

I know that Saturdays during the summer months are jam packed with fun activities, so I really appreciated those people that took the time to attend, showed tremendous interest and asked meaningful questions about my work in Salem and the Legislative process. The Town Hall series will continue in September with forums in Scappoose, Rainer, Bethany and Vernonia.

ODFW will host a series of public meetings the week of Aug. 5 to gather input on the 2020 recreational halibut season and start discussing the 2021-2022 recreational bottomfish seasons. People who can’t attend meetings can also listen in via Webcast (details below).

At the 2019 annual meeting, the International Pacific Halibut Commission approved a 1.5 million pound catch limit for Area 2A for 2019-2022. This is the first time fishery managers know the quota going into this series of public meetings, which should help guide the discussions for the 2020 halibut season.

Additionally, the Pacific Fishery Management Council is starting the process to set quotas and seasons for the 2021-2022 bottomfish seasons. No major changes to the fishery are being proposed, but ODFW is looking for input from anglers on adjustments to sport bottomfish regulations.

“It’s important that we hear from a wide range of anglers before making decisions on the upcoming seasons,” said ODFW Recreational Halibut and Bottomfish Project Leader Lynn Mattes.

The meetings will be held:

• Salem, Monday, Aug. 5, 6-8 p.m. at ODFW Headquarters (4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE) in the Commission Room.

• Newport, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 6-8 p.m. at the Marine Resources Program office, 2040 SE Marine Science Drive (ODFW’s parking lot is closed due to construction. ODFW visitors should park at the HMSC Visitor Center and follow the signs on foot to ODFW). This meeting will also be webcast, details below.

• Brookings, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 6-8 p.m. at the Chetco Public Library, 405 Alder St.

• North Bend, Thursday, Aug. 8, 6-8 p.m. in North Bend at the Public Library, 1800 Sherman Street.

Anglers who wishes to provide input but cannot attend a meeting in person or via the webcast can contact Lynn Mattes at 541-867-4741 ext. 237 or lynn.mattes@state. or.us or Christian Heath at 541-867-4741 ext. 266 or Christian.t.heath@state. or.us. Background information will be posted on the ODFW sport bottomfish and sport halibut webpages by the end of the day on Friday, Aug. 2.

The closure of Cornelius Pass Road to through traffic has severely impacted traffic issues for Columbia County residents and other commuters. The road closed July 22 and is expected to remain closed through September, while contractors for Multnomah County complete safety improvements. My office has been fielding many comments and concerns regarding this closure and the problems made with signage and illegal truck use of the car detour route.

Editor’s Note: In the July 26 edition, the Chief presented specific comments from Multonmah County Communications Officer Mike Pullen, who updated the pass project. Follow the project at thechiefnews.com and in our Friday print editions.

State Rep. Brad Witt may be reached at 503-996-1431, or at Re.BradWitt@oregonlegislature.gov.

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