Salem, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today announced a set of one-year restrictive regulations for coastal fall chinook salmon in ocean terminal areas, and bay and river fisheries. These temporary regulations include reductions in daily and seasonal bag limits and area closures to protect wild fall chinook for 2008.
New Sport Regulations for Bays and Rivers
The new temporary sport regulations set a reduced aggregate bag limit for fall chinook caught in all open waters in the Marine, Northwest and Southwest Fishing Zones. In most waters, anglers will be allowed to keep up to two adult salmon or steelhead per day and 20 per year in the Zones as per permanent rules. However, only one non-fin clipped adult chinook may be kept per day and five non-fin clipped adult chinook may be kept for the season extending from August 1 to December 31, 2008. Regulations for jack salmon remain unchanged -- that is five per day and two daily limits in possession.
Open waters, seasons and fin mark requirements for coho salmon remain the same as in the permanent regulations.
Exceptions to these temporary regulations include:
- Current regulations of one chinook per day and five for the year for Yachats River, Hunter Creek and Pistol River will remain in place. Any non- fin clipped adult chinook caught in these streams will also count towards the Zones seasonal aggregate listed above.
- Current regulations for the Rogue River will remain in place, except to allow no more than 10 non-fin clipped adult chinook per season with five non-fin clipped adult chinook caught elsewhere counting towards this seasonal aggregate. In addition, the seasonal aggregate bag limit for non-fin clipped adult chinook starts July 12 on the Rogue River from the mouth upstream to Elephant Rock (tidewater). The Rogue River from Elephant Rock upstream to Gold Ray Dam opens for non-fin clipped adult chinook August 1.
- In the Coos River and Bay, anglers will be allowed to harvest no more than 10 non-fin clipped adult chinook per season with five no-fin clipped adult chinook counting towards the Zones seasonal aggregate.
- The opening of the chinook season on the Chetco River will be delayed until November 1.
In addition, the temporary regulations establish new angling deadline closures for fall chinook in order to protect spawning fish. The new deadlines are for the Siletz (Hwy 229 Bridge near Mile Post 23 just north of the town of Siletz), Big Elk Creek in the Yaquina Basin (Bear Creek near Updyke Road at River Mile 5), Alsea (Five Rivers), Five Rivers (closed), Siuslaw (Lake Creek), Lake Creek (closed), North Fork Smith (closed), South Fork Coos (closed above Besse Cr. at RM 6.25), Millicoma (closed above Dora’s Place boat ramp at RM 0.25), South Fork Coquille (closed above mouth of Middle Fork at RM 5), North Fork Coquille (closed), Middle Fork Coquille (closed), Floras Creek and Floras Lake outlet (Floras Creek bridge at RM 5), and Sixes River (Edson Creek at RM 10).
In most areas of the Coos and Coquille Basins, winter steelhead angling will not open until November 15, 2008 in order to protect chinook spawners.
New Ocean Sport and Commercial Regulations off Tillamook, Elk, and Chetco Rivers
The temporary regulations also retain limited sport and commercial seasons for the Tillamook, Elk River and Chetco River Ocean Terminal Areas. These fisheries will be open within state waters only. Daily and seasonal bag limits for the terminal sport fisheries will be part of the aggregate bag limit set for all open waters in the Marine, Northwest and Southwest Fishing Zones.
Tillamook Terminal sport fishery will be open from September 1 – November 15 with a bag limit of two chinook but not more than one non-fin clipped adult chinook per day. All non-fin clipped adult chinook count towards the Zones seasonal aggregate of five non-fin clipped chinook.
The Tillamook commercial season will be open from September 1 through the earlier of November 15 or the quota of 500 chinook. Vessels are limited by a landing and possession limit of 25 chinook per calendar week and 28 inch minimum length.
The Elk River Terminal sport fishery will run from November 1-30 with a bag limit of two chinook but not more than one non-fin clipped adult chinook per day. All non-fin clipped adult chinook count towards the Zones seasonal aggregate of five non-fin clipped chinook.
The Elk River commercial season will open November 1 through the earlier of November 30 or the quota of 250 chinook. Commercial vessels are limited to a daily landing and possession limit of 10 chinook per day and a 28 inch minimum length.
The Chetco River Terminal sport fishery is October 1-4 with a goal of 250 chinook landed. The daily bag limit is one adult chinook and any non-fin clipped adult Chinook counts towards the Zones seasonal aggregate bag limit. If weather significantly limits effort and catch, additional open days of October 10-11 and October 17-18 will be considered.
The commercial season off the Chetco will be open October 5-8, 12-15, and 19-31 or the quota of 250 Chinook. Vessels are limited to a daily landing and possession limit of 10 chinook and 28 inch minimum length.
The return of fall chinook to Oregon’s coastal rivers and streams is forecast be significantly below established goals and long-term averages. The exceptions are rivers in the Tillamook Bay system and the Rogue River which should be near established goals.
In addition to meeting conservation needs the restrictions are necessary to assist in meeting spawning escapement goals outlined in the new chinook agreement under the US/Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty.