SALEM, Ore. – Oregon fishery managers announced today a limited recreational coho salmon fishing season for Oregon coastal waters beginning in late June. They also outlined additional ocean seasons for chinook and coho salmon north of Cape Falcon.
The seasons were approved Thursday at a meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council in Seattle. Managers from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife who attended the meeting advocated for some limited recreational fishing opportunities rather than a complete closure of the ocean salmon season.
The PFMC voted Thursday to close all commercial salmon fishing off the Oregon coast this year from Cape Falcon south to the California/Mexico border. The closure follows a dramatic decline in the numbers of Sacramento River fall chinook salmon expected to spawn this year.
“ODFW recognizes the impact this decision will have on the coastal communities and we are committed, along with other state agencies, to working closely with individuals, families and businesses to do what we can to help,” Fish Division Deputy Director, Steve Williams said.
Despite the closures, ODFW managers were able to secure a limited recreational fishing opportunity for coho salmon off the Oregon coast beginning in late June.
“We’re pleased that we could come back to Oregon with some recreational fishing opportunities,” said Williams.
The decision by the PFMC represents the first time in history that the entire Oregon and California coast south of Cape Falcon has been closed to all commercial salmon fishing.
Commercial ocean salmon fishing recommendations include:
- In the ocean from Cape Falcon south to the California/Mexico border, the commercial salmon season is closed.
- North of Cape Falcon the ocean chinook season will have limited openings during May and June with an 11,700 chinook quota. A second set of openings will occur during July through September with an 8,000 chinook quota and a 4,000 coho quota.
Recreational fishing opportunities for ocean salmon include:
- In the ocean from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border, the salmon season is open seven days-per-week, June 22 – Aug. 31, or until attainment of a 9,000 coho salmon quota is reached. The allowed bag limit is two adipose fin-clip coho per day.
- In the ocean from Cape Falcon north to Leadbetter Point in Washington (Columbia River Ocean Area) there will a seven day a week fishery for Chinook from June 1 – June 28, or until attainment of a 5,100 chinook quota. The allowed bag limit is one chinook per day.
- In the ocean from Cape Falcon north to Leadbetter Point in Washington (Columbia River Ocean Area) Beginning June 29 the season will open for chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho and will extend until September 30 or until a 10,180 coho quota or a 5,300 chinook quota is reached. Fishing will be allowed Sunday through Thursday with a 2 salmon per day limit, only one of which may be a chinook.
The regulations approved by the PFMC will not affect recreational salmon fishing opportunities in Oregon’s coastal rivers or bays. Fishing seasons and regulations for these fisheries will be approved by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at its June meeting.
The proposals issued Thursday by the Council still must be confirmed by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, the agency in charge of fishery management in federal waters.
In addition, Oregon fishery managers will present the proposals to the Fish and Wildlife Commission on April 18 for their adoption.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.