California’s recreational ocean salmon fishery will be delayed statewide through the month of April, despite plans made earlier this year for the fishery to open in some locations as early as this Saturday, April 4.
The delay is the result of an in-season action taken Tuesday by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), on advice from the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (PFMC) salmon industry advisors and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The April delay is a response to physical distancing requirements and widespread closures of launch ramp facilities, charter boat operations and restrictions to harbor and marina access due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delaying the opener of the fishery will reduce impacts to stocks of concern and provide more fishing opportunity later in the summer months than would otherwise be possible.
The April delay negates the opening dates previously scheduled for the Monterey, San Francisco and Ft. Bragg management areas that had been announced in CDFW’s March 10, 2020 press release. The Klamath Management Zone (Horse Mountain to the Oregon state line) will also remain closed.
Recreational salmon season dates and regulations that will take effect on or after May 1 in all areas of California will be determined at the April 5-9 PFMC meeting, which will be held via webinar due to the COVID-19 health crisis. To learn more about how to attend and participate virtually, as well as provide input on existing season proposals, please visit the PFMC’s website at www.pcouncil.org.
Anglers are always advised to check for updated information when planning a salmon fishing trip. Season dates, bag/possession limit information and gear restrictions can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon web page. Public notification of any in-season change to conform state regulations to federal regulations is made through the NMFS ocean salmon hotline at (800) 662-9825.
CDFW reminds Californians that everyone has the responsibility to flatten the COVID-19 curve by maintaining physical distance from other people of 6 feet or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick.