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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Entire West Coast ocean salmon fishing seasons adopted

2LingPossession May 9, 2012

Here is the news release from the Pacific Fishery Management Council on the adopted salmon fishing seasons off the entire West Coast:

COUNCIL ADOPTS COASTWIDE SALMON SEASONS

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today adopted a set of ocean salmon seasons that provides both recreational and commercial opportunities coastwide. California and Oregon fishermen, in particular, will benefit from strong abundance forecasts for Sacramento and Klamath River fall Chinook this year.

The recommendation will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2013.

“It’s nice to see another strong year for ocean salmon fisheries off California and Oregon, with reasonable seasons north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, through the state of Washington,” said Council Chairman Dan Wolford. “At the same time, the Council has satisfied all the conservation goals for over 50 salmon stocks.”

California and Oregon South of Cape Falcon, Oregon

The Sacramento River and Klamath River fall Chinook abundance remains high, providing ample sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries off California and Oregon. Fisheries south of Cape Falcon, in northern Oregon, are primarily supported by Sacramento River fall Chinook. 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 2013 is 834,200, similar to 2012 and far above the number needed for optimum spawning this fall (122,000-180,000 fish). The Klamath River fall Chinook ocean abundance forecast for 2013 0f 727,600 is the third highest forecast on record since 1985.

Recreational Fisheries

Recreational fisheries off the central Oregon coast will allow Chinook retention and run from March 15 through October 31. Coho fisheries consist of a mark-selective coho quota fishery in July (open from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border), and a non-mark selective coho quota fishery in September from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.

Recreational fisheries in southern Oregon and California run from May 1 through September 8 in the Brookings/Eureka/Crescent City area, and from April 6 to at least October 6 in areas further south. South of Point Arena, the fishery will be open five days per week, Wednesday through Sunday, between June 1 and July 9; and seven days per week otherwise. In the Monterey area, the minimum size limit will be 24 inches for the entire season. For the San Francisco area, the minimum size limit will be 24 inches from April 6 to July 31, but 20 inches thereafter. North of Point of Arena, the minimum size limit will be 20 inches all season.

Commercial Fisheries

Commercial fisheries from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, Oregon will be open from April 1 through August 29 and September 4 through October 31. Fisheries in the Humbug Mountain to California border area will be open in April, May, June, July, August, and September, with Chinook quotas in June (4,000), July (3,000), August (2,000), and September (1,000). Chinook quota fisheries from the California border to Humboldt South Jetty will be open May (3,000), June (3,000), July (2,000), August (1,500), and September (6,000).

Commercial Chinook salmon fisheries in the area between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (Fort Bragg area) will be open May 22 through 31, June 1 through 8 and 21 through 30, July 15 through August 29, and September 1 to 30, seven days per week.

In the area from Point Arena to the U.S/Mexico border (San Francisco and Monterey areas), the season will be open May 1 to June 8, June 21 through 30, July 15 through August 29, and September 1 to 30. From Point Sur to the Mexico border, the Chinook season will be open May 1 to August 29 and September 1 to 30. There will also be a season from Point Reyes to Point San Pedro, open October 1 to 4, 7 to 11, and 14 to 15.

Washington and Northern Oregon (North of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries north of Cape Falcon (near Nehalem in northern Oregon) depend largely on Columbia River stocks. Columbia River fall Chinook forecasts are similar to forecasts for 2012. Columbia River hatchery coho returns are improved from 2012.

North of Cape Falcon, there is an overall non-Indian total allowable catch of 92,000 Chinook and 89,000 marked hatchery coho.

Recreational Fisheries

A mark-selective Chinook season north of Cape Falcon begins June 8 off the Columbia River and Westport, and ends June 21 off the Columbia River, and June 22 off Westport. The season is open off La Push and Neah Bay May 10 and 11, May 17 and 18, and June 22 through 28. All areas will close when 8,000 marked Chinook are caught in all port-areas combined. The Chinook season will be open seven days per week, two fish per day, with a 24-inch total length minimum size limit.

All salmon seasons are divided into four port-areas. Seasons begin June 22 off the Columbia River, June 23 off Westport, and June 29 off La Push and Neah Bay. These fisheries end September 30 off the Columbia River and Westport; La Push and Neah Bay end September 22, or when Chinook or coho quotas are reached. The coho quota for all port-areas combined is 74,760. For details, please see the season descriptions on the Council website at www.pcouncil.org.

Commercial Fisheries

Non-Indian ocean commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon include traditional Chinook seasons in the May-June timeframe and all-salmon seasons in the July-to-September timeframe. The Chinook quotas of 29,360 in May-June and 14,700 in the all-species fisheries and the coho quota of 14,220 are similar to 2012 quotas.

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon are similar to recent years with a Chinook quota of 52,500 and a coho salmon quota of 47,500.

Process
The Council developed the management measures after spending several weeks reviewing three season alternatives. The review process included input by Federal and state fishery scientists and fishing industry members, public testimony, and three public hearings in coastal communities. The Council received additional scientific information and took public testimony before taking final action. The decision will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval and implementation.

In addition, the coastal states will decide on compatible freshwater fishery regulations at their respective Commission hearings.

Council Role

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries miles offshore of the United States of America coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Detailed salmon recommendations for 2013:

http://www.pcouncil.org/2013/04/25020/council-adopted-draft-salmon-mgmt-measures-april13/

Pacific Fishery Management Council:

http://www.pcouncil.org

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