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Oregon postpones 2018 sport abalone season

FILE -- A NOAA Reciprocity Diver (AAUS) measures a red abalone during a survey off Point Loma, CA. (File Photo: Adam Obaza/NOAA)

Oregon has postponed the 2018 recreational abalone season that was scheduled to open Jan. 1.

The decision follows California's closure of its 2018 abalone season because of concerns over the health of the population. Abalone stocks in California have fallen below target levels as environmental conditions have reduced their food sources.

Southern Oregon is on the northern edge of red abalone range and has a relatively small population.

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission will review the situation at its March 16 meeting in Salem.

Commercial harvest of the shellfish is not allowed in Oregon or California.

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