Oregon's Developmental Fisheries Program is designed to encourage the commercial exploration and development of State managed underutilized fishery resources. A key program strategy is allocating relatively secure harvest rights to pioneering entrepreneurs when a fishery successfully transitions from "developing" to "developed" status. Since the program's inception in 1993, two fisheries, sardine and bay clam, have moved from undeveloped to developed status. Case studies of these fisheries show that many challenges impact the success of the Developmental Fisheries Program including difficulties in designing and allocating asset rights, establishing operational program guidelines, selecting measurable targets that meet legislative standards for a developed fishery, and financing developmental fisheries management practices. Developmental fisheries strategies used in other regions and countries are summarized. Recommendations are made for improving Oregon's Developmental Fishery Program including establishing clear objectives and timelines for the Program and identifying appropriate renewal requirements for permits and other developmental incentives on a fishery-by-fishery basis.