By Randall Bonner
On November 6th, several members of Oregon Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) gathered at the Holiday Inn Express on the Willamette riverfront to discuss the opening of a new chapter in Corvallis and conservation efforts to increase fishing opportunities from the valley to the coast. Oregon CCA Executive Director Chris Cone led the meeting, giving a background of the state’s involvement with the organization, it’s mission, purpose and direction. Bruce Polley, head of government relations spoke about CCA’s involvement with lobbying for conservation efforts, and ran through a list of regional accomplishments, such as passing a bill to remove non-tribal, non-selective commercial gill-netting practices on the Columbia River. Among the room were a diverse age group of men and women, including younger anglers such as Marc Vangorden, a self-proclaimed “fishbum” and retired fish biologist Nancy McHugh, several recreational anglers and professional guide Grant Scheele. Cone also concluded by introducing Ty Wyatt as the interim chapter president for the next 6 months until a board could be elected.
The goal of the meeting was to build a membership base for the local chapter, signing up 7 new members, but it wasn’t all business. Each attendee received a raffle ticket and a filet knife was given away at the end of the end of the night. Cone mentioned that bringing free beer to the next meeting might ensure that others would show up and join the group. Discussions of banquets, demonstrations on curing eggs for bait and rigging tutorials were suggested for future meetings, asking the room what they wanted to see from guest speakers. The meeting was short, over in under an hour and many stayed afterwards to make introductions and shoot questions back and fourth. The next meeting will be at 6pm on December 4th at the same Holiday Inn Express on the Willamette riverfront.