Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Ocean salmon sport fisheries in California closed for April through mid-May 2023

A freshly caught Chinook salmon is measured for length. Photo courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

On Friday, on recommendation from California and Oregon agency representatives and industry advisors, the National Marine Fisheries Service took inseason action to cancel ocean salmon fishery openers that were scheduled between Cape Falcon, Ore., and the U.S./Mexico border through May 15.

The sport fishery had been scheduled to open off California in most areas on April 1. The actions were taken to protect Sacramento River fall Chinook, which returned to the Central Valley in 2022 at near-record low numbers, and Klamath River fall Chinook, which had the second lowest abundance forecast since the current assessment method began in 1997.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) has produced three regulatory options (PDF) for the May 16, 2023, through May 15, 2024, time period. None of the three options would authorize commercial or ocean salmon sport fishing off California until April 2024.

The alternatives were approved by the PFMC for public review on Friday.

On March 21, 2023, the PFMC will hold a public hearing in Santa Rosa to receive public comment on the three proposed regulatory alternatives. The PFMC will then meet April 1-7 in Foster City to adopt final regulations.

More information regarding the PFMC meetings and options can be found on the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org.

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