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Fishery council recommends huge ocean coho fishery

   

Date:

April 10, 2009

Contact:

Ron Boyce (971) 673-6081
Steve Williams (503) 947-6209
Eric Schindler (541) 867-0300 ext. 252
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023
Fax   (503) 947-6009

SALEM, Ore -- Sport anglers can look forward to a banner year of ocean coho salmon fishing under final season recommendations made yesterday by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meeting in San Francisco.

The PFMC recommendations include a 10 week season South of Cape Falcon, which includes most of the Oregon coast, with a catch quota of 110,000 adipose fin-clipped hatchery selective coho and a daily bag limit of three fish.   This will be the largest quota for the South of Cape Falcon sport fishery since selective coho seasons were first adopted in 1998.

North of Cape Falcon the season will be 13 weeks with a catch quota of 88,200 adipose fin-clipped coho and a daily bag limit of two.

“Anglers should start sharpening their hooks because this is the largest coho quota since 1992,” said Ron Boyce, Technical Resources Program manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A total of 1.3 million adult coho are expected to return to the Oregon Coast and Columbia River, up from the 2008 forecast of 276,000.

“The coho fishery has always been popular with sport anglers because they are an exciting and unpredictable fish when they are hooked.  On top of that, coho feed near the surface and are aggressive biters, and that makes them easier to find and catch for anglers. This year is shaping up to be a great year to go coho fishing,” Boyce said.

The large recreational fishery for ocean coho will be a bright spot for coastal communities facing a second straight year of no commercial fishery for ocean chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon. The Oregon commercial salmon fishery usually targets chinook salmon returning to the Sacramento River in California. The chinook forecast for the Sacramento is only slightly higher than last year, when poor returns lead to the largest fishery closure on record.

Details of the proposed 2009 Oregon ocean sport salmon seasons include:

Leadbetter Point, WA to Cape Falcon, OR
Season: June 28 through Sept. 30, or until catch quotas are reached
Catch quotas: 88,200 adipose fin-clipped coho, 5,400 chinook
Daily bag limit: two salmon but no more than one chinook
Length limits: chinook – 24”, coho – 16”

Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain
Season #1: June 20 through Aug. 31 or until coho quota is reached
Catch quota: 110,000 adipose fin-clipped coho from Cape Falcon to CA/OR border
Daily bag limit: three salmon, except closed to retention of chinook
Length limits: coho – 16”

Season #2: Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 or until coho quota is reached
Catch quota: 7,000 adipose fin-clipped coho
Daily bag limits: two salmon, except closed to retention of chinook
Length limits: coho – 16”

Humbug Mountain to OR/CA Border
Season #1: June 20 through Aug. 31 or until catch quota is reached
Catch quota: 110,000 adipose fin-clipped coho from Cape Falcon to CA/OR border
Daily bag limit: two salmon; closed to retention of chinook
Length limits: coho – 16”

Season #2: Aug. 29 through Sept. 7
Daily bag limit: two salmon, closed to retention of coho (coho may be kept from Aug. 29-31 if season #1 remains open)
Length limits: chinook – 24”

The PFMC’s recommendations must be approved by NOAA – Fisheries and the Department of Commerce and will be considered for adoption by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at its May meeting in Salem.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council proposes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Oregon, Washington and California coasts to the Department of Commerce, and is comprised of fishery managers and public representatives from Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho, native American tribes, and the federal government. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider fall chinook seasons for state waters (primarily rivers and estuaries) at its June meeting.

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