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April 11, 2013

Feds Set Pacific Salmon Regulations for the Balance of 2013

The Pacific Fishery Management Council predicts abundant king salmon off California, Oregon and Washington

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) this week established ocean salmon seasons and regulations for the balance of 2013 for California, Oregon and Washington. Despite concerns among California recreational fishermen that the council might institute prolonged mid-season closures to protect certain strains of king salmon, the PFMC instead decided on weekly two-day closures (Monday and Tuesday) for selected coastal regions between the dates of June 1 and July 9.

At the same time, the council stated that California and Oregon fishermen, in particular, will benefit from abundant ocean salmon populations this year. “It’s nice to see another strong year for ocean salmon fisheries off California and Oregon, with reasonable seasons north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, through the state of Washington,” said Council Chairman Dan Wolford. “At the same time, the council has satisfied all the conservation goals for over 50 salmon stocks.”

Here's a summary of what the PFMC decided for recreational salmon fishing...

Off the central Oregon coast, anglers will be able to keep king (aka Chinook) salmon until October 31 (the season began on March 15). In terms of silver (aka coho) salmon, there will be a mark-selective quota fishery in July (open from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border), and a non-mark selective quota fishery in September from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.

Recreational king salmon fishing in southern Oregon and California is scheduled to run from May 1 through September 8 in the Brookings/Eureka/Crescent City area, and at least until October 6 in areas further south (this season opened on April 6).

South of California's Point Arena, recreational king salmon fishing is scheduled to be open five days per week, Wednesday through Sunday, between June 1 and July 9; and seven days per week otherwise.

The minimum size limits have become a bit tricky to follow. In the Monterey area, the minimum size limit will be 24 inches for the entire season. For the San Francisco area, the minimum size limit will be 24 inches from April 6 to July 31, but 20 inches thereafter. North of Point of Arena, the minimum size limit will be 20 inches all season.

These and other decisions will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval and implementation by May 1. The fish and wildlife commissions of the three affected states must also act to implement salmon regulations, but each state regulatory body usually falls in line with the PFMC's decisions. 

The PFMC is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries miles offshore of the U.S. coast. It recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

For detailed salmon recommendations for this year, visit federal cean salmon regs-2013.