Tag Archives: salmon

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

Salmon Seasons Set for Ocean and Inland Waters

The California Fish and Game Commission adopted recreational ocean and inland salmon season regulations as presented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on April 18. Ocean salmon season dates and management measures are set to coincide with the alternatives adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for federal waters off the California coast. Inland river seasons adopted by the Commission are identical to the 2015 seasons with the exception of a reduction in the allowable harvest of Klamath Basin Chinook salmon.

“Reduced fishing opportunity in the ocean and inland areas are a reflection of lower abundance for some California salmon stocks as compared to recent years, likely as a result of extended drought and generally unfavorable ocean conditions for salmon survival,” said Jennifer Simon, an environmental scientist with CDFW’s Marine Region Salmon Team. “The 2016 seasons are intended to allow limited fishing opportunity on stocks that can support them while providing increased protection for the most vulnerable of stocks.”

An expected ocean abundance of roughly 300,000 Sacramento River fall Chinook (compared to 650,000 last year) will support recreational and commercial opportunities for ocean salmon fisheries off portions of California and Oregon. A projected return of 151,000 spawning adults allows for an inland river recreational harvest of 24,600 adult Chinook.

The Klamath River fall Chinook ocean abundance forecast of 142,200 adults is substantially lower than recent years and the primary reason for ocean fishery constraints. A projected return of 30,909 natural area spawning adults allows for an inland river recreational harvest quota of 1,110 adult Chinook salmon greater than 22 inches. In 2015 the harvest quota was 14,133.

The resulting bag and possession limits and seasons adopted by the Commission are as follows:

Central Valley Rivers:

Daily limit of two fish per day and a possession limit of four fish. On the American and Feather rivers the general season opener is July 16. On the Sacramento River below Deschutes Road Bridge to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, the season opens Aug. 1 and closes Dec. 16. From below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to the Carquinez Bridge, the season opens July 16 and closes Dec. 16. Please see the 2016 Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet for openings and closing of specific sections of each river, as well as gear restrictions.

Klamath River:

Daily limit of two fish per day of which only one may be greater than 22 inches, and the possession limit is six fish of which only three may be greater than 22 inches. The Klamath River fall Chinook season opens Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31, while the Trinity River opens to salmon fishing on Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31.

Ocean Salmon: 

Ocean salmon recreational fisheries include a daily limit of two adult Chinook salmon with four in possession on land with varying size restrictions depending on the area. Season dates include openings in May, June, July, August and the Labor Day weekend in the Crescent City/Eureka area. Fisheries further south opened on April 2 and will continue through Nov. 13 in the Fort Bragg area, through Oct. 31 in the San Francisco area, through July 15 from Pigeon Point to Point Sur, and through May 31 south of Point Sur. For a more in-depth look at ocean salmon seasons and restrictions, please see  www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon.

Long-running drought conditions, coupled with suboptimal ocean conditions, have raised serious concerns for Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon, which are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and have experienced very low survival as juveniles in 2014 and 2015. Fisheries south of Point Arena, particularly recreational fisheries in the greater Monterey Bay region, continue to experience late-season reductions in 2016 to minimize interactions with winter Chinook.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Simon, CDFW Salmon Team, (707) 576-2878
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Sacramento River Closure to Go Into Effect April 1

A temporary emergency regulation closing all fishing within 5.5 miles of spawning habitat on the Upper Sacramento River begins on April 1, 2016 and will remain in effect through July 31, 2016. Enhanced protective measures are also proposed in the ocean sport and commercial salmon fisheries regulations for the 2016 season.

The temporary emergency regulation closes all fishing on the 5.5 mile stretch of the Sacramento River from the Highway 44 Bridge where it crosses the Sacramento River upstream to Keswick Dam. The area is currently closed to salmon fishing but was open to trout fishing. The temporary closure will protect critical spawning habitat and eliminate any incidental stress or hooking mortality of winter-run Chinook salmon by anglers.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) scientists believe the additional protection provided in the emergency river closure and potential ocean fishing restrictions will help avoid a third year of substantial winter-run Chinook salmon loss.

Historically, winter-run Chinook spawned in the upper reaches of Sacramento River tributaries, including the McCloud, Pit, and Little Sacramento rivers. Shasta and Keswick dams now block access to the historic spawning areas. Winter-run Chinook, however, were able to take advantage of cool summer water releases downstream of Keswick Dam. In the 1940s and 1950s, the population recovered, but beginning in 1970, the population experienced a dramatic decline, to a low of approximately 200 spawners by the early 1990s. The run was classified as endangered under the state Endangered Species Act in 1989, and as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1994.

The Fish and Game Commission adopted CDFW’s proposal for the 2016 temporary closure at its regularly scheduled February meeting.

Media Contact:
Jason Roberts, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2131
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open South of Horse Mountain on April 2

California’s recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 2, 2016, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S./Mexico border.

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.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude), the minimum size limit is 20 inches total length. For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length. The recreational salmon season north of Horse Mountain remains closed and the season will be determined in April.

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 shall 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.

Additional ocean salmon fishing regulations for the 2016 fishing season will be decided by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during its April 9-14 meeting in Vancouver, Washington, and by the Fish and Game Commission at its April 18 teleconference. Final sport regulations will be published in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) 2016-2017 Supplemental Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, which will be posted online in May at www.wildlife.ca.gov/regulations.

“Salmon abundance estimates are lower this year and there is concern that the forecasts may be overly optimistic.  Ocean and river salmon anglers can expect less fishing opportunity compared to last year, especially later in the season to protect vulnerable stocks,” said CDFW Environmental Scientist Jennifer Simon.

Three alternatives are currently being considered for California’s 2016 commercial and recreational ocean salmon regulations, including season dates, size limits, bag limits and quotas. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives that can be found on the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org.

CDFW reminds anglers that retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon 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
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

 

Anglers, Management Agencies Grapple with Poor 2016 Salmon Forecasts

At the annual salmon informational meeting held in Santa Rosa today, state and federal fishery scientists presented updates on the numbers of spawning salmon, and the expected abundance for the upcoming fishing season. Forecasts suggest there are 299,600 adult Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon in the ocean this year, along with 142,200 adults from the Klamath River fall Chinook run. Both forecasts are lower compared to the previous few years. Salmon from these runs comprise the majority of salmon taken in California’s ocean and inland fisheries.

“The forecasts are lower than in recent years and suggest that California fisheries may see salmon seasons in 2016 that have reduced opportunities over last year,” said Brett Kormos, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

These forecasts, in addition to information on endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon, will be used over the next few months by fishery managers to set sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas and size and bag limits.

Chinook salmon that will be harvested in ocean fisheries in 2016 hatched two to four years ago, and may have been impacted by poor river conditions driven by California’s ongoing drought. Once in the ocean, the fish experienced El Niño conditions, which are not favorable for salmon or its prey.

Season dates and other regulations will be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission over the next few months. For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.

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Media Contacts:
Jennifer Simon, CDFW Ocean Salmon Project, (707) 576-2878
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (208) 220-1169