Recreational Ocean Salmon Fishing Opens North of Horse Mountain May 10

Media Contacts:
Alex Letvin, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-3456

Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478

Recreational ocean salmon fishing in the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ), the area between the Oregon/California state line and Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude), will open May 10 and continue through Sept. 7 with a 24-inch minimum size limit.  KMZ-area anglers should be conscious of closures at the mouths of the Klamath and Smith rivers throughout the season, as well as a closure at the mouth of the Eel River during August and September.

Fishery biologists predict moderately large numbers of Klamath and Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon along California’s coastal waters, providing substantial fishing opportunity. In areas south of Horse Mountain, the recreational ocean salmon season opened on April 5 and continues through Nov. 9 in the Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas. In the Monterey-south area, the season ends Oct. 5.

“Along the Central Coast, ocean anglers have experienced some good fishing up until this point,” said Marci Yaremko, CDFW Environmental Program Manager with the Marine Region. “Many of the sport anglers that fished in Monterey Bay on opening weekend had their limits by 9 a.m.”

Statewide, the daily bag limit is two salmon of any species except coho. New this season, the salmon possession limit has been changed to two daily bag limits when on land; however when on a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

Anglers should be aware that minimum size limits differ among management areas. In the Fort Bragg area, which extends from Horse Mountain to Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude), there is a 20-inch minimum size limit.  In the San Francisco area, which extends from Point Arena to Pigeon Point (37° 11’ 00” N. latitude), there is a 24-inch minimum size limit through the end of June, and a 20-inch minimum size limit thereafter. For areas south of Pigeon Point, including the Monterey Bay area, there is a 24-inch minimum size limit throughout the season.

North of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), not more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used and no more than one rod per angler is allowed when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. When fishing with bait by any means other than trolling between Horse Mountain and Point Conception, barbless circle hooks are required.

These seasons and minimum size and bag limits were adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission and the Pacific Fishery Management Council during their public meetings held in April.

For complete ocean salmon regulations, please visit the ocean salmon webpage at or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline (707) 576-3429.