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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Strong Sacramento River fall chinook run will boost fisheries off northern California and Oregon

The Pacific Fishery Management Council wrapped up their salmon fishing season setting meeting on Wednesday, April 14, and while I ran plenty of information about the Washington scene I wanted to make sure that others know what happened in Oregon and California as well.

“We are pleased to see that Sacramento River fall chinook salmon have rebounded nicely for California and Oregon fisheries and we will continue to enjoy good salmon opportunities off the Washington coast this summer,” Mark Cedergreen, PFMC Council Chairman and president of the Westport Charterboat Association said in a news release.

Greatly improved abundance of Sacramento River fall chinook will fuel the first substantial ocean salmon fisheries off California and Oregon since 2007.

All salmon fisheries south of Cape Falcon are supported by Sacramento River fall chinook returns which had been a bust in recent years.

In 2008 and 2009, poor Sacramento returns led to the largest ocean salmon fishery closure on record.

The abundance forecast of Sacramento River fall chinook in 2011 is 730,000, which exceeds the spawning escapement goal of 122,000 to 180,000 fish.

The Klamath River fall chinook forecast for 2011 is near normal. The Oregon Coast wild coho forecast in 2011 is about 250,000, well above the 15 year average.

The sport salmon fisheries in southern Oregon and California are for chinook only and will begin May 14 through Labor Day weekend in the Brookings/Eureka/Crescent City area; and from April 2 to October 30 or September 18 in areas further south.

The minimum size limit will be 24 inches for chinook coastwide.

The sport fisheries in central Oregon will allow chinook retention and run from March 15 through September 30. Coho fisheries consist of a mark selective coho quota fishery that will open in early July and a non-mark selective coho quota fishery in early September.

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