Klamath River

Chinook Salmon Recreational Season to Open July 1 on Portions of Klamath and Trinity Rivers

Emergency fishing regulations for the spring Chinook salmon fishery in the Klamath River Basin have been extended and fall Chinook salmon quota and fishery regulations were adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission during their May teleconference meeting. Please note that the regulation changes are currently awaiting approval from the Office of Administrative Law. These regulations are in place because spring Chinook salmon are a candidate species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and currently under status review for potential CESA listing.

The spring Chinook salmon fishery on the lower Klamath River (downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec) and Trinity River (upstream of the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River) will open July 1 and run through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River and through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River. The daily bag limit has been set to one Chinook salmon (no size restrictions), and the possession limit set at two Chinook salmon.

The fall Chinook salmon fishery in the Klamath River will open Aug. 15, and in the Trinity River, the fall Chinook salmon season begins Sept. 1. The Klamath-Trinity basin in-river quota is 1,296 adult fall Chinook salmon for 2020.

Fall Chinook salmon regulations on length have changed since 2019, with the adult size now being greater than 23 inches total length (previously 22 inches). Bag limits will remain the same as 2019, with a two-fish daily bag limit, with no more than one fish over 23 inches (such as one adult and one jack). The possession limit remains the same at six fish, with no more than three fish over 23 inches (effectively three daily bag limits).

Additionally, the brown trout bag and possession limits have doubled; increased to 10 fish per day and 20 fish in possession throughout the basin.

The in-river recreational adult fall Chinook salmon quota is divided among four sectors in the Klamath River basin:

KLAMATH RIVER

  1. 3,500 feet downstream of Iron Gate Dam downstream to the Highway 96 bridge – 220 fish.
  2. Highway 96 bridge downstream to the mouth of the Klamath River – 648 fish.
    • There is a sub-area closure at the mouth of the Klamath River when 15 percent of the basin allocation has been harvested – 194 fish harvested below the Highway 101 bridge triggers this closure.

TRINITY RIVER

  1. Old Lewiston Bridge to Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat – 214 fish.
  2. Denny Road bridge downstream to the confluence with Klamath River – 214 fish.

Please see the 2020-2021 California Freshwater Sportfishing Regulations and 2020-2021 California Supplement Sport Fishing Regulations for more information. Additionally, anglers can obtain information on Klamath Basin regulations and fall Chinook salmon quota updates by calling the Klamath-Trinity fishing hotline at (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Dan Troxel, CDFW Northern Region, (707) 496-0869

Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

Chinook Salmon Season to Open July 1 on Portions of Klamath, Trinity Rivers

The recreational Chinook Salmon fishery will open on portions of the Klamath and Trinity rivers on July 1, as per emergency fishing regulations that have been adopted and approved by the California Fish and Game Commission and the state Office of Administrative Law.

The spring Chinook Salmon fishery will be open from July 1 through Aug. 14 on the lower Klamath River (downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec) and from July 1 through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River (upstream of the confluence of the South Fork). The daily bag limit has been set at one Chinook Salmon (no size restrictions), and the possession limit is set at two Chinook Salmon.

The fall Chinook fishery will open Aug. 15 in the Klamath River and Sept. 1 in the Trinity river. The basin in-river quota is 7,637 adult Chinook Salmon for 2019. Regulations will remain the same as in 2018 with a two-fish daily bag limit, with no more than one fish over 22 inches (such as one adult and one jack). The possession limit remains the same at six fish, with no more than three fish over 22 inches (effectively three daily bag limits).

The in-river recreational adult fall Chinook quota is divided among four sectors in the Klamath River Basin:

KLAMATH RIVER

(1) 3,500 feet downstream of Iron Gate Dam downstream to the Highway 96 bridge – 1,298 fish.

(2) Highway 96 bridge downstream to the mouth of the Klamath River – 3,819 fish.

There is a sub-area closure at the mouth of the Klamath River when 15 percent of the Klamath Basin allocation has been harvested – 1,145 fish harvested below the Highway 101 bridge triggers this closure.

TRINITY RIVER

(3) Old Lewiston Bridge to Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat – 1,260 fish

(4) Denny Road bridge downstream to the confluence with the Klamath River –  1,260 fish.

Please see the 2019-2020 California Freshwater Sportfishing Regulations and 2019-2020 California Supplement Sport Fishing Regulations for more information. Additionally, anglers can obtain information on Klamath Basin regulations and fall Chinook quota updates by calling the Klamath-Trinity fishing hotline at (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Dan Troxel, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2378

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Fourth Klamath Salmon Fishing Quota Nearly Met, Catch Will Be Subject to Size Restriction

North coast anglers are about to meet their seasonal salmon quota in another popular spot, triggering new restrictions on the Trinity River fishery. Monitoring efforts show that anglers above Cedar Flat on the Trinity River will have caught their quota of 183 adult fall-run Chinook, 22 inches or longer, by sundown on Friday, Oct. 21. After the quota is met, anglers will still be able to fish in this area but must release any Chinook longer than 22 inches.

The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult Chinook from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat. This fishery is still open at this time.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling 1 (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Sara Borok, CDFW Klamath River Project, (707) 822-0330

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Salmon Fishing on the Klamath River Spit to Close for the Season

Anglers only have a limited time to fish for salmon in a popular Del Norte County spot before it closes for the season.

Klamath River anglers in the Spit Area (within 100 yards of the channel through the sand spit formed at the Klamath River mouth) will have caught their sub-quota of 167 adult fall-run Chinook salmon by sundown on Monday, Aug 22, 2016. Therefore, the Spit Area will be closed to fishing one hour after dark.

Only the Spit Area is affected by this closure. Fishing downstream of the Highway 101 Bridge in the estuary will be unaffected until the lower river quota of 555 adult fall-run Chinook salmon over 22 inches is met. Once that number is met, anglers will still be able to fish but will have to release any Chinook salmon over 22 inches. As of Aug. 22, 2016, the lower Klamath River tally is 188 salmon caught.

The Klamath River above the confluence with the Trinity River will remain open until 189 adult Chinook are caught in this area.

The quota on the Trinity River is 183 adult Chinook from the confluence with the Klamath River up to Cedar Flat, and 183 adult Chinook from Cedar Flat up to the Old Lewiston Bridge.

Anglers may keep track of the status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling (800) 564-6479.

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Media Contacts:
Sara Borok, CDFW Klamath River Project, (707) 822-0330

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

Recreational Ocean Salmon Fishing Opens North of Horse Mountain May 16

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announces the recreational ocean salmon season in the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ), the area between the Oregon/California border and Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude), will open May 16, making all ocean waters in California available to salmon fishing. The season will continue through May 31 and reopen June 16-30, July 16-Aug. 16, and Sept.  1-5 with a 20-inch minimum size limit.

Anglers fishing in the KMZ 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. See California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.75 for complete river mouth closure information.

In the Fort Bragg area, which extends from Horse Mountain to Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude), the season will remain open through Nov.  13 with a 20-inch minimum size limit. In the San Francisco area, which extends from Point Arena to Pigeon Point (37° 11’ 00” N. latitude), the season will continue through Oct. 31 with a 24-inch minimum size limit through April 30 and 20-inches thereafter.  In the Monterey area between Pigeon Point and Point Sur (36° 18’ 00” N. latitude) the season will continue through July 15 while areas south of Point Sur will continue through May 31. The minimum size limit in Monterey and areas south is 24-inches total length.

CDFW and the Pacific Fishery Management Council have constructed ocean salmon seasons to reduce fishery-related impacts on endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook. Drought conditions and unsuitable water temperatures in the upper Sacramento River led to greater than 95 percent mortality of juvenile brood year 2014 and 2015 winter-run Chinook. Coupled with abnormally warm and unproductive ocean conditions, fisheries managers and industry representatives chose to take additional protections beyond those required by the Endangered Species Act biological opinion and harvest control rule.

Available ocean data suggest that winter-run Chinook are concentrated south of Pigeon Point, especially south of Point Sur, during the late summer and early fall. Strategic closures and size limit restrictions implemented in the San Francisco and Monterey management areas are intended to minimize harvest and catch-and-release mortality of winter-run Chinook.

The daily bag limit is two Chinook per day and no more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used, and no more than one rod may be used per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling between Horse Mountain and Point Conception.

CDFW reminds anglers that retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries.

Final sport regulations will be published in the CDFW 2016 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet available in May at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations. For complete ocean salmon regulations, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

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Media Contacts:
 Jennifer Simon, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2878

Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191