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Fish MARINE RESOURCES
Commercial and recreational marine fisheries
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Port sampler interviewing returning anglers.

Welcome to the Ocean Salmon Management Program
(commercial troll salmon and ocean recreational salmon fisheries)

New ocean salmon anglers.

Recreational ocean salmon regulations:


State waters only fall Chinook terminal area seasons:

Commercial troller waiting and watching.

Commercial ocean troll salmon regulations:

 

State waters only fall Chinook terminal area seasons:

Oregon Managment Areas

Other regulation information:

 

Related links:

 

Two Chinook on top and one coho on bottom.

Catch and quota updates:

Last updated: September 21, 2023

 

Updated through September 17, 2023 (pdf) - last updated September 21, 2023

Updated through September 17, 2023 (pdf) - last updated September 21, 2023

Last updated September 21, 2023

Recent management actions and updates:

 

RECREATIONAL OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE, September 19, 2023: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the State of Oregon, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management actions related to the ocean recreational non-mark selective coho salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.:
ACTIONS TAKEN:

  1. The remaining impact neutral rollover of coho remaining from the hatchery selective summer season was made to the non-mark selective September season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. This resulted in a net transfer of 2,000 coho and a revised quota of 42,500 coho for the September season.
  2. The ocean recreational salmon season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. reopens to the retention of coho salmon effective Thursday, September 21 at 12:01 AM through the earlier of September 30 or the revised quota of 42,500 coho.

RATIONALE:
A provision included in the 2023 ocean adopted regulations for ocean salmon fisheries between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. allows for the transfer of quota remaining from the summer hatchery selective coho season to the September non-selective coho season on an impact neutral basis.  This year there are both commercial troll and recreational non-mark selective coho seasons within the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.   The regulations this year stipulated that the transfer could be made to the recreational and/or the commercial troll seasons with a priority to the recreational season. 

This approved transfer utilizes the remaining coho available for transfer, and all rollover has been transferred to the recreational fishery. The commercial troll fishery is not approaching their quota of 10,000 coho, with catches from September 1-18 totaling 2,350 coho.  The most constraining stock in the transfer to the recreational fishery this season is the Oregon Coast Natural Coho, and the preseason impact rates on OCN coho are not exceeded by this transfer. 

The recreational fishery has taken 28,885 coho through September 17, with 8,014 landed in the week of September 11-17.  Forecasting the coho harvest for the remainder of the month starting on September 21 indicates that there is minimal risk to attain the remaining quota.  Managers will monitor the fishery for the remainder of September and will take additional inseason action if needed. 

RECREATIONAL and COMMERCIAL TROLL OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission met Friday, September 15, 2023 in Bend, Oregon and took action to adopt regulations for ocean terminal area fall Chinook seasons for both the recreational and commercial troll salmon fisheries in the ocean waters immediately adjacent to the Elk River. These seasons will be open from November 1-30 within the established boundaries of the Elk River Fall Chinook Terminal Area.

Recreational Season Regulations:

  • Open November 1-30 within the Elk River Fall Chinook Terminal Area: defined as shoreward of a line drawn from Cape Blanco (42°50‘20" N Lat.) to Black Rock (42°49‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘00" W. Long.) to Best Rock (42°47‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘42" W. Long.) to 42°40’30”N / 124°29’00” W to Humbug Mt.
  • Daily bag limit of 1 Chinook per angler with a minimum length of 24"
  • Terminal tackle limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hooks
  • Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve is closed to all fishing


Commercial Troll Season Regulations:

  • Open November 1-30 within the Elk River Fall Chinook Terminal Area: defined as shoreward of a line drawn from Cape Blanco (42°50‘20" N Lat.) to Black Rock (42°49‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘00" W. Long.) to Best Rock (42°47‘24" N Lat. / 124°35‘42" W. Long.) to 42°40’30”N / 124°29’00” W to Humbug Mt.
  • Single daily landing and possession limit of 10 Chinook per vessel with a minimum length of 26"
  • Terminal tackle limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hooks
  • No more than 4 spreads per wire
  • Landings restricted to Port Orford
  • Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve is closed to all fishing

RECREATIONAL OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE, September 13, 2023: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the State of Oregon, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the State of California, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the ocean recreational non-mark selective coho salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.:

ACTIONS TAKEN:

  1. An impact neutral rollover of a portion of the coho remaining from the hatchery selective summer season was made to the non-mark selective September season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. This resulted in a net transfer of 15,500 coho and a revised quota of 40,500 coho for the season scheduled for September 1 through the earlier of the quota or September 30.
  2. The ocean recreational salmon season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. closes to the retention of coho salmon effective Sunday, September 17 at 11:59 PM.  The season remains open for Chinook salmon with a daily bag limit of one salmon (24” minimum length).

RATIONALE:
A provision included in the 2023 ocean adopted regulations for ocean salmon fisheries between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. allows for the transfer of quota remaining from the summer hatchery selective coho season to the September non-selective coho season on an impact neutral basis.  This year there are both commercial troll and recreational non-mark selective coho seasons within the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.   The regulations this year stipulated that the transfer could be made to the recreational and/or the commercial troll seasons with a priority to the recreational season. 

The approved transfer prioritizes the recreational fishery, and any remaining impacts will be held in reserve and may be transferred later in the month if fishery managers see a need to move more fish to either the recreational fishery or the commercial troll fishery. Currently, the commercial troll fishery is not approaching their quota of 10,000 coho, with catches from September 1-12 totaling 1,948 coho.  However, through Sunday, September 10 the recreational fishery has already harvested 21,402 coho out of their quota of 25,000 and a need exists to access some of the remaining available impacts.  The most constraining stock in the transfer to the recreational fishery this season is the Oregon Coast Natural Coho, and the preseason impact rates on OCN coho are not exceeded by this transfer. 

Forecasting the coho harvest for the week starting on September 11 indicates that there is a reasonable likelihood that the revised quota may be met by the end of the week.  Managers agreed that the best approach is to close the fishery to retention of coho at the end of Sunday, and then evaluate the status of the catches again early next week to determine if any more days can be added back to the fishery in September. 
A conference call is being planned for late afternoon on Tuesday, September 19 to evaluate the status of the quota and potential for reopening additional days in September.

September 6, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:


ACTION TAKEN:
Effective 12:01 AM Thursday, September 7 through Saturday, September 30, for the commercial salmon troll fishery in the area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon, landing and possession limit of 15 Chinook salmon and 100 coho salmon per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday).


RATIONALE:   Current forecast of total landings indicates that 970 Chinook and 5,656 coho remain on their respective quotas.  By allowing a modest increase in the weekly Chinook limit, it will allow the fishery to continue to progress towards the scheduled ending date without a likely need for an early closure. This inseason adjustment is consistent with the preseason planning and management goals. 
Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

August 25, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE (1 of 2): The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:
ACTIONS TAKEN:

1. Effective 12:01 AM Saturday August 26, 2023, the coho quota for the commercial salmon troll fishery North of Cape Falcon is adjusted on an impact neutral basis, from mark-selective to non-mark-selective, and the adjusted non-mark-selective quota is adjusted downward by 10% as a precautionary measure.  The adjusted non-mark-selective coho quota is 9,070.

2. Effective 12:01 AM Saturday August 26, 2023, the landing and possession limit for coho is modified to 100 coho (marked or unmarked) per vessel per landing week (Thursday through Wednesday).  Weekly landing and possession limit for Chinook remains 7 Chinook per vessel per landing week.

RATIONALE:  Harvest of hatchery coho through August 25 is estimated at 3,590 coho out of the 30,400 mark selective coho quota leaving a remainder of 26,810 hatchery coho.   Trollers have been reporting few hatchery coho being contacted, and high releases of non-marked coho.  By making this inseason adjustment which is consistent with the preseason planning and management intensions, the fishery can minimize hook and release impacts on non-clipped coho. 
Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

August 25, 2023 RECREATIONAL OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE (2 of 2): The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the recreational ocean salmon season from Leadbetter Point, Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon:
ACTIONS TAKEN:

  1. Effective 12:01 AM Saturday, August 26, 2023, the coho quota for the recreational salmon fishery in the Columbia River subarea (Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Point) is adjusted on an impact neutral basis, from mark-selective to non-mark-selective, and the adjusted non-mark-selective quota is additionally adjusted downward by 10% as a precautionary measure.  The non-mark-selective coho quota is 21,740.

  2. Effective 12:01 AM Saturday, August 26, 2023, the daily limit is modified to 2 salmon per day, only one of which may be a Chinook.
RATIONALE:  Harvest of hatchery coho through August 25 is estimated at 15,545 coho out of the 79,800 mark selective coho quota leaving a remainder of 64,255 hatchery coho.   Mark rates in the fishery have been lower than projected in the preseason process.  By making this inseason adjustment, which is consistent with the preseason planning and management intensions, the fishery can minimize hook and release impacts on non-clipped coho, and should still be able to remain open through most of September.

August 15, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:


ACTION TAKEN:

Effective 12:01 AM Thursday, August 17 through Saturday, September 30, the commercial salmon troll fishery in the area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon is open, with landing and possession limits of 7 Chinook salmon and 100 adipose marked coho salmon per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday).


RATIONALE: 
Harvest of Chinook to date has surpassed 90% of the 13,000 Chinook quota leaving only 1,251 fish remaining to be harvested.  The summer period also has a quota of 30,400 marked coho with an estimated harvest of only 2,772 coho to date leaving 90% of this quota remaining for harvest.  This action will refocus the fishery to target hatchery coho while allowing minimal Chinook to be retained. Fishery managers will be reviewing landings and will take additional action as needed in future weeks.


Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

July 28, 2023 – INFORMATIONAL UPDATE: The ratio of marked hatchery coho to unmarked coho has been lower than forecast so far this season along much of the Oregon Coast.  This can be a result of either a lower than forecast hatchery coho abundance, stronger than forecast runs of naturally produced coho, or a shift in distribution of stocks of salmon along the coast.  We recognize that anglers want to be responsible stewards for the resource and reduce any handling mortality on fish that are released.  The following are some recommended best practices for reducing the handling mortality for catching and releasing ocean salmon:

Hooks: 

  • Single point barbless hooks are legally required, provide for a better hook-up ratio, and make releasing fish easier.
  • Using only one hook per lure or bait reduces handling time and simplifies releasing a fish. Two hook riggings often result in more than one injury to a fish, complicate unhooking the fish, and are more likely to get tangled in a landing net.
  • Hook size: Some prior hooking mortality studies indicate that hook sizes in the smaller sizes of the 3/0-1/0 range may have a lower hooking mortality impact than larger sizes such as 5/0 and 6/0.  
  • If trolling a whole or plug cut bait use one of the various hooking options that allow for a single hook to be used (cable baiter, crowbar, needle bait threader, etc.).

Handling:

  • For any salmon that are anticipated to be released, avoid using a landing net.
  • If you have a high sided boat that requires you to net every fish, consider investing in a landing net that uses less abrasive netting (rubber, soft nylon, etc.).
  • Have a de-hooking device ready when bringing the fish to the boat.
    • Gaff hooks work well for jaw hooked fish. Slide the gaff around the leader and then down the leader to the bend of the hook, at the same time holding the leader in your other hand, then push down on the leader while pulling up on the gaff handle to release the fish.
    • Fish hooked deeper inside the mouth/gullet/gills will likely require the use of pliers, hemostats, or another style of de-hooking device.
  • Use of a heavy leader will better facilitate controlling the fish by hand as you prepare to release it.  

Fishing Methods:

  • Bait has a higher likelihood of being taken deep and resulting in a deep hook-up and higher mortality rate than with most lures.  Consider shifting to a lure like a spoon if you are encountering many salmon that need to be released.
  • If mooching/drifting and using whole or plug cut bait for salmon, a circle hook will result in fewer gullet and gill hooked salmon.

July 19, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTIONS TAKEN:

  1. Effective 12:01 AM Thursday, July 20 through Wednesday July 26, for the commercial salmon troll fishery in the area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon, landing and possession limit of 30 Chinook and 150 adipose fin-marked coho salmon per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday).

  2. Effective 12:01 AM Thursday, July 27 through Wednesday August 2, for the commercial salmon troll fishery in the area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon, landing and possession limit of 20 Chinook and 150 adipose fin-marked coho salmon per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday).

  3. Effective 12:01 AM Thursday, August 3, the commercial salmon troll fishery in the area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon is closed to all commercial salmon trolling until further notice.

RATIONALE:  Harvest of Chinook through July to date has been trending higher than anticipated.  Projected landings through July 26 are estimated at 8,502 Chinook out of the 13,000 Chinook quota leaving 4,498 Chinook remaining to be harvested. The summer period also has a quota of 30,400 marked coho with an estimated harvest of only 1,380 through July 19.  By stepping down the weekly Chinook limits over the next two weeks and then closing to evaluate the status, fishery managers should be able to scale any later openings to target hatchery coho and wrap up any Chinook remaining on the quota. Fishery managers will be reviewing landings and will take additional action as needed in future weeks.

Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

July 11, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTION TAKEN:
Effective 12:01 AM Thursday, July 13, through the earlier of September 30, 2023 or further inseason action: In the commercial salmon troll fishery in the Area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon: landing and possession limits of 35 Chinook and 150 marked coho per vessel per landing week, defined as Thursday through Wednesday.

RATIONALE:  Harvest of Chinook through July to date has been trending higher than anticipated.  Projected landings through July 12 are estimated at 5,762 Chinook out of the 13,000 Chinook quota leaving 7,238 Chinook remaining to be harvested. The summer period also has a quota of 30,400 marked coho.  By reducing the weekly limit of 50 Chinook down to 35 Chinook this should allow the “summer troll season” to remain open for a longer time period and and provide fresh salmon to the marketplace for much of the summer.  Fishery managers will be reviewing landings and will take additional action as needed in future weeks.

Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

June 23, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTIONS TAKEN:

  • Effective 12:01 AM Saturday, June 24, for the commercial salmon troll fishery in the Area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon, landing and possession limit of 11 Chinook per vessel for the period of June 24-29.
  • Effective 12:01 AM Saturday, July 1, through the earlier of September 30, 2023 or further inseason action, for the commercial salmon troll fishery in the Area between the U.S./Canada border and Cape Falcon: landing and possession limits of 50 Chinook and 150 marked coho per vessel per landing week, defined as Thursday through Wednesday.

RATIONALE:  Harvest of Chinook through June 21 is estimated at 25,148 Chinook out of the 26,000 Chinook quota leaving only 852 Chinook remaining on the quota.  With approximately 70 boats anticipated to participate in the final open period, it was projected that an 11 Chinook per vessel limit for the final open period could function with little risk of exceeding the May-June quota.
The summer period has a total quota of 13,000 Chinook and 30,400 marked coho.  The established weekly limits of 50 Chinook and 150 marked coho should allow the “summer troll season” to progress at a reasonable pace and provide fresh salmon to the marketplace for much of the summer.

Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.


June 21, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE:
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTION TAKEN: Effective 11:59 PM June 21, 2023, the salmon troll fishery in the area North of Cape Falcon is closed through June 30, 2023.  As specified in the federal rule, vessels must land and deliver their salmon within 24 hours of any closure of this fishery. Vessels must land and deliver all salmon from this fishery no later than 11:59 PM Thursday, June 22, 2023. Additional openings in June may be considered if sufficient May-June quota remains.  Any remaining quota will be considered for an impact neutral rollover to the next troll fishery North of Cape Falcon which will begin on July 1.

RATIONALE:  Harvest through June 21 is anticipated to be approaching the 26,000 Chinook quota with a projected catch of 24,035 Chinook leaving 1,965 Chinook remaining on the quota.  There is a need to verify total landing before considering options to reopen.  Another conference call is scheduled for 1:30 PM on Friday, June 23 to consider any possible reopening for the remainder of June. 

Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

 

June 7, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTIONS TAKEN:

  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area from the US/Canada Border and the Queets River (LaPush and Neah Bay subareas) from 35 to 40 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) from June 8-21, and from 35 to 40 Chinook per vessel for the period of June 22-29.
  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the Westport area between the Queets River and Leadbetter Point from 200 to 250 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) from June 8-21, and from 200 to 250 Chinook per vessel for the period of June 22-29 (Note that this is also the weekly maximum for all open areas combined).
  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon from 80 to 100 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) from June 8-21, and from 80 to 100 Chinook per vessel for the period of June 22-29.

RATIONALE: 

Harvest through June 7 is projected to total 11,553 Chinook out of the 26,000 Chinook quota, with 424 coming in the Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon area, and 5,497 coming from the areas N. of the Queets River.  Landing week limitations were relaxed to provide the fishery better opportunity to harvest the remaining quota and subarea caps.  Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

May 24, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTIONS TAKEN:

  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area between the Queets River and Leadbetter Point from 150 to 200 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) from May 25 to June 21, and for the period of June 22-29 (Note that this is also the weekly maximum for all open areas combined).
  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon from 60 to 80 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) from May 25 to June 21, and for the period of June 22-29  .

RATIONALE:  Through May 24, total harvest on the May-June quota is projected to total 7,326 Chinook out of the 26,000 Chinook quota, with 323 coming in the Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon area.  Due to lower than anticipated harvest rates in the areas south of the Queets River, landing week limitations were relaxed to provide the fishery better opportunity to harvest the quota while still keeping the fishery open for more days through the May-June early season.  Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31).
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

Visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/ for more information on Oregon's ocean salmon seasons and fisheries.

April 18, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, the State of Washington, and fishery representatives met today via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the commercial troll salmon season from the US/Canada border to Cape Falcon:

ACTIONS TAKEN:

  • Modified the quota for the May-June North of Falcon commercial ocean salmon troll fishery that opens May 1, 2023 to 26,000 Chinook, no more than 6,890 of which may be caught in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River, and no more than 6,040 of which may be caught in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon.
  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River to 105 Chinook per vessel for the period May 1 through May 10, and 70 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) beginning May 11.
  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area between the Queets River and Leadbetter Point to 200 Chinook per vessel for the period May 1 through May 10, and 150 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) beginning May 11.
  • Modified the landing limit and possession limit in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon to 90 Chinook per vessel for the period May 1 through May 10, and 60 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) beginning May 11.
  • Vessels may not land fish east of the Sekiu River or east of Tongue Point, Oregon.

RATIONALE:  These actions will bring the adopted seasons from 2022 into compliance with the recently adopted seasons for 2023 which encompasses salmon seasons for the period of May 16, 2023 through May 15, 2024.  In addition, because May 1 is on a Monday and would have resulted in a three day week, those three days were added to the full week starting on May 4 and increased landing limits for the 10 day period was adopted to account for the extra days within the initial period.  Additional regulations that apply to vessels fishing out of Oregon North of Cape Falcon that apply to the 2023 seasons include:

  • Vessels landing in Oregon are limited to only fishing between Leadbetter Pt., WA and Cape Falcon, OR.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon must possess a valid commercial license and a valid troll salmon permit.
  • Vessels landing into Oregon are limited to locations on the Oregon side of the Columbia River upstream as far as Tongue Pt., the beaches at Gearhart/Seaside and Cannon Beach, or into Garibaldi.
  • Fishers may not possess Chinook salmon South of Cape Falcon, OR that are less than 28” total length, except that fishers may possess and land Chinook salmon that meet the minimum length of 27” total length on those dates when the troll salmon season has been closed South of Cape Falcon for 48 hours or more (those dates for the 2023 May through September seasons are anticipated to be May 1 through August 31.
  • All salmon must be delivered during the open period or landing week or they will also apply against the week in which they are possessed and delivered.
  • Vessels landing salmon in Oregon from any season North of Cape Falcon are required to notify ODFW within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-857-2546 or sending notification via e-mail to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

4/6/2023 OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The Pacific Fishery Management Council finalized their recommendations for 2023 ocean salmon seasons on Thursday, April 6.  Copies of the adopted seasons will be available at the PMFC’s website soon (www.pcouncil.org) in Preseason Report III. Graphics of the recreational and commercial troll seasons have already been made available on www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/salmon/.  Seasons from May 16 on are not official until final approval by the Secretary of Commerce, and after adoption by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for waters within 3 nautical miles of shore.

Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook salmon stocks are severely constraining all seasons from Cape Falcon through California.  The primary drivers affecting these populations of Chinook salmon are the direct result of the severe drought in California.  To address the critically low abundances of these two stocks, the Council has recommended a complete shutdown of all salmon seasons in California, and all Chinook salmon seasons in Oregon south of Cape Falcon prior to September 1.  By September 1 most of these stocks have left the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. and Oregon’s coastal fall Chinook have begun  staging near the coast where they will comprise majority of the catch. 

This year’s forecast for Columbia Basin hatchery coho salmon represents the third consecutive year of strong abundance in as many years, and recreational coho quotas and seasons reflect this trend.  North of Cape Falcon, Chinook quotas were most restricted by tule fall Chinook from the Columbia River, while the most constraining coho were various stocks in Puget Sound.  The limiting coho stock for fisheries south of Cape Falcon is the Oregon Coastal Natural coho again this year, and for Chinook it is both Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook.

Recreational Season Summary:
Ocean waters off the Columbia River from Leadbetter Pt., Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon will be open for an all-salmon season North of Cape Falcon beginning June 24 and continue through the earlier of September 30, or quota with a hatchery mark selective coho quota of 79,800.  There is also a Chinook guideline in this area of 11,490.  The daily bag limit will be two salmon, but no more than one Chinook and all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.  Minimum length for Chinook is 22” and the coho minimum length is 16”.

The recreational hatchery mark selective coho salmon season from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA Border will open on June 17 and continue through the earlier of August 31 or the quota of 110,000 adipose fin-clipped coho.  Chinook retention is prohibited through the end of August. 

There will be a non-selective coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. opening on September 1, and will be open seven days per week through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 25,000 non-mark selective coho.  The daily bag limit is two fish, only one of which may be a Chinook.  The open days in September may be adjusted in season.  Coho minimum length of 16” and Chinook minimum length of 24”.  

Retention of one Chinook salmon per day will be allowed beginning September 1 and continue through October 31 in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.  The season will only be open inside of the 40-fathom management line from October 1-31.  Chinook minimum length of 24”.

All recreational anglers are limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hook per line when fishing for salmon, and for any species if  salmon are on board the vessel.

Commercial Troll Season Summary:
The commercial troll salmon seasons north of Cape Falcon will have limited Chinook quotas again this year.  The fishery will be managed by quotas, season length, and vessel landing week (Thurs.-Weds.) limits.  The early all salmon except coho season opens May 1 and will continue through the earlier of June 29 or the overall quota of 26,000 Chinook salmon, or the Leadbetter Pt. to Cape Falcon subarea cap of 6,040 Chinook.  The early season will have a 60 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thurs-Wed) limit. Chinook minimum length of 27”.

The summer all salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon will open on July 1 and continue through the earlier of the overall Chinook quota of 13,000 Chinook or quota of 30,400 fin-clipped coho.  Landing week (Thurs-Wed) limit of 150 adipose fin-clipped coho per vessel.  Minimum lengths are 27” for Chinook, and 16” for coho. 

Vessels must land in this area or into Garibaldi.  Mandatory call-in requirements within an hour of landing are in place for all troll salmon seasons in this area.  Vessels must call in to (541)857-2546 with vessel name, vessel number, number of harvested salmon by species, port of landing, destination of fish, and estimated time of delivery.  The mandatory report can also be made by email to nfalcon.trollreport@odfw.oregon.gov.  Oregon licensed vessels may only fish south of Leadbetter Pt., Washington.


NOTE:  Any boats fishing in the area north of Cape Falcon and retaining Chinook that are greater than 27” but less than 28” must land all salmon into ports north of Cape Falcon.  Boats may only land Chinook in this size range into Garibaldi if the season south of Cape Falcon has been closed more than 48 hours.

In the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. seasons will not open until September 1.  Beginning September 1 and continuing through October 31, this area will be open for Chinook salmon with a landing week (Thurs-Wed) limit of 75 Chinook per vessel.  For the period of October 1-31, the open area will be limited to shoreward of the 40-fathom management line.  This area will also be open for non-mark selective coho from September 1 through the earlier of September 30, or a non-mark selective quota of 10,000 coho with a landing week (Thurs-Wed) limit of 75 coho per vessel. Minimum lengths are 28” for Chinook, and 16” for coho. 

Other Information:
Both commercial troll salmon fishermen and recreational anglers should review the full regulations prior to participating in the ocean salmon fisheries.  Single point barbless hooks are required in all ocean salmon seasons.  Commercial salmon trollers are reminded that they are restricted to no more than 4 spreads per wire for all seasons from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA border.

March 11, 2023 UPDATE: Ocean Salmon Season Alternatives Posted

On Friday, March 10 the Pacific Fishery Management Council concluded the development of the range of ocean salmon season options that will go out for additional public input before finalizing a single set of season proprosals to the US Dept. of Commerce at the April 1-7 PFMC meeting in Foster City, California.

March 9, 2023 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE (1 of 2): The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, and the State of California met today via a blended conference call and in person meeting and have taken the following in-season management action related to the scheduled March 15 commercial troll Chinook salmon openings off Oregon:


ACTION TAKEN:
The commercial ocean troll salmon fishery seasons scheduled to be open between March 15 and May 15 in ALL areas from Cape Falcon to the Oregon California Border are canceled for 2023.


RATIONALE:  Multiple stocks of California Chinook Salmon are at extremely low abundance and are projected to potentially fall below target spawning escapements.  Guidance from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for 2023 ocean salmon seasons for Sacramento River fall Chinook was that “extraordinary measures are needed in 2023 to address these circumstances and to ensure that fishery management is not a contributing factor.”  For Klamath River fall Chinook the NMFS guidance is “that a precautionary approach is warranted and underscores the need to carefully consider the factors described in the FMP in setting the ER (exploitation rate). Given the extremely low abundance forecast and resulting low level of allowable fishing mortality, NMFS anticipates harvest opportunity will be substantially constrained in the region between Cape Falcon, Oregon, and Point Sur, California.”  Oregon fisheries typically intercept these stocks throughout the entire area to the South of Cape Falcon, and these stocks are very important contributors to Oregon’s spring and summer fisheries.

Seasons from May 16, 2023 through early May 15, 2024 are currently being developed. Season alternatives will be reviewed, and a final season recommendation will be made at the April Pacific Fishery Management Council public meeting.  Interested members of the public should visit www.pcouncil.org for information on how to participate in the April meeting.

March 9, 2023 RECREATIONAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE (2 of 2): The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, and the State of California met today via a blended conference call and in person meeting and have taken the following in-season management action related to the scheduled March 15 recreational Chinook salmon openings off Oregon between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt.:


ACTION TAKEN:
The recreational ocean salmon fishery scheduled to open on March 15 and continue through May 15 in ocean waters between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. off Oregon is canceled for 2023.


RATIONALE:  Multiple stocks of California Chinook Salmon are at extremely low abundance and are projected to potentially fall below target spawning escapements.  Guidance from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for 2023 ocean salmon seasons for Sacramento River fall Chinook was that.  Guidance from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for 2023 ocean salmon seasons that include contacts with Sacramento River fall Chinook was that “extraordinary measures are needed in 2023 to address these circumstances and to ensure that fishery management is not a contributing factor.”  For Klamath River fall Chinook the NMFS guidance is “that a precautionary approach is warranted and underscores the need to carefully consider the factors described in the FMP in setting the ER (exploitation rate). Given the extremely low abundance forecast and resulting low level of allowable fishing mortality, NMFS anticipates harvest opportunity will be substantially constrained in the region between Cape Falcon, Oregon, and Point Sur, California.”  Oregon fisheries typically intercept these stocks throughout the entire area to the South of Cape Falcon, and these stocks are very important contributors to Oregon’s spring and summer fisheries.

Seasons from May 16, 2023 through early May 15, 2024 are currently being developed. Season alternatives will be reviewed, and a final season recommendation will be made at the April Pacific Fishery Management Council public meeting.  Interested members of the public should visit www.pcouncil.org for information on how to participate in the April meeting.

OCEAN SALMON INDUSTRY GROUP MEETING NOTICE: The meeting will be held in the OSU Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building on the Hatfield Marine Science Center's campus in Newport, Oregon.

The 2023 Ocean Salmon Industry Group Meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 27, 2023. This meeting will provide a review of the 2022 seasons, take a first look at the 2023 salmon forecasts, and begin the development of Oregon preferred recreational and commercial ocean salmon season concepts via public input to take forward through the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) regulation setting process. The meeting will be held both in person and virtually this year (see details below).

This meeting is open to all ocean sport fishing anglers and charter operators, commercial salmon troll fishers, and any others interested in participating in the development of the 2023 ocean salmon seasons. Staff from ODFW will provide background materials and presentations and then work with meeting attendees to develop preferred season alternatives to use as guidance moving forward through the Pacific Fishery Management Council's season setting process. The meeting is planned to start at 10:00 AM on Monday, February 27. It is recommended that participants attending on-line, test their system prior to the meeting to iron out any technical problems they may have.

There is also an option available to call in by phone.  There will be a lunch break between approximately 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM that will also provide participants time to formulate concepts for proposals.

Links to the agenda and briefing materials for the meeting will be posted below as they come available in January and February.

Please visit the PFMC’s website at https://www.pcouncil.org/  for details on their March and April meetings. 

For those attending in person, the meeting will be held in the auditorium of the OSU Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building on the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium, so please plan accordingly.

Topic: 2023 Ocean Salmon Industry Group Meeting
Time: Feb 27, 2023; 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting Materials: (will be posted here as they come available):

 

 

Project Overview

The Ocean Sampling Project (Ocean Salmon Management Program (OSMP)) monitors ocean commercial and recreational salmon fisheries for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The project collects and analyzes data from Oregon's commercial and recreational ocean salmon fisheries, including catch and fishing effort, recovers these and other sources to assist in the develop of management.

The Ocean Sampling Project is made up of two sub-units: The Commercial Troll Salmon Project (CTSP) and the Ocean Recreational Boat Survey (ORBS). ORBS collects the information needed to managed all ocean recreational fisheries, and the CTSP collects the information needed information for managing the ocean commercial troll salmon fishery.

ORBS makes estimates of the ocean recreational catch and effort by boat type (charter and private). Interviews are conducted randomly of ocean boats to generate estimates of catch for both salmon and non-salmon species. All sampled salmon are examined for the presence of a CWT. Additional biological data are collected from salmon and non-salmon species, and anglers are also interviewed regarding released fish species.

The Ocean Sampling Project is staffed by a project leader and an assistant project leader at Newport, and two sampling coordinators; one each at Tillamook and Charleston. The sampling coordinators serve as liaison between field samplers, fishery participants, and program staff at Newport; deliver data and coded wire tags to Newport; and also provide additional sampling when needed. We regularly sample fishery landings at all primary Oregon coastal ports, utilizing approximately 20 to 30 seasonal samplers.

 

The Ocean Salmon Management Program

The Ocean Salmon Management Program (OSMP) monitors ocean commercial and recreational salmon fisheries, and conducts ocean and coastal river's investigations for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The program uses data from these and other sources to develop management recommendations for the best use of Oregon's salmon resources, and to evaluate proposed ocean salmon fishery regulations.

The Ocean Sampling Project collects and analyzes data on Oregon's commercial ocean salmon fishery, including catch and fishing effort, recovers coded wire tags (CWTs), and gathers average weight data from commercial salmon landings.

The Ocean Sampling Project also conducts the Ocean Recreational Boat Survey (ORBS) to estimate effort and catch in the ocean recreational boat fishery. The ORBS estimates total ocean sport effort by boat type (charter and private), and interviews are conducted randomly of ocean boats to generate estimates of catch for both salmon and non-salmon species.  All sampled salmon are examined for the presence of a CWT.  Additional biological data are collected from salmon and non-salmon species, and anglers are also interviewed regarding released fish species and other specifics about their trip. A description of the ORBS design can be found here.

The OSMP sampling project is staffed by a project leader and an assistant project leader at Newport, and two sampling coordinators; one each at Tillamook and Charleston. The sampling coordinators serve as liaison between field samplers, fishery participants, and program staff at Newport; deliver data and coded wire tags to Newport; and also provide additional sampling when needed. We regularly sample fishery landings at all primary Oregon coastal ports, utilizing approximately 20 to 30 seasonal samplers.

OCEAN TROLL SALMON FISHERY

The commercial salmon troll fishery was developing off the Oregon Coast by the year 1912. By 1919, there were between one and two thousand boats trolling off the mouth of the Columbia River. The State of Oregon began recording troll landings separately from gillnet fisheries in 1925.

Landings of ocean troll caught coho salmon remained relatively stable from 1925 to 1941, with landings between 2,000,000 and 4,000,000 pounds (dressed weight: head-on, viscera removed) for most years. From 1942 to 1950 catches remained near 1,000,000 pounds annually, but by 1957 landings had climbed back up to 3,400,000 pounds. The El Niño of 1958-59 resulted in landings dropping back below 1,000,000 pounds or 200,000 fish. During the 1960s and early 1970s, improved hatchery production and rearing techniques, a growing troll fleet, and good ocean survival rates of smolts to adults resulted in record landings that peaked in 1976 with 1,800,000 coho landed. From the mid 1970s and continuing into the 1990s, Oregon's ocean coho fishery has been characterized by continuing poor ocean environmental conditions and poor overall survival, increasing management restrictions, and reduced ocean harvest opportunities. Most recently, ocean conditions have shown improvements, and changes in management approaches for coho salmon have began to provide modest increases in fishing opportunity for recreational anglers.

Although chinook harvest by the Oregon troll fishery has also seen dramatic fluctuations, the long term trend was one of increasing landings. The troll chinook fishery had record harvests in 1987 and 1988. The late 1980s and early 1990s have seen a decline in harvest due to decreases in many stocks, concern for critical natural stocks under both state and federal management and the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), together with increasing allocation conflicts between river and ocean user groups. From 2006-10, there were major declines in first Klamath River fall Chinook and then Sacramento River fall Chinook that resulted in near complete closure of Chinook harvest in several years. By 2012, the situation had done a complete turn around with Sacramento Chinook back to average numbers and the Klamath coming in with a near record abundance.

Historically, coho salmon predominated in the landings, but since the mid-1980's Chinook landings have equaled coho, and in many years made up the majority of the catch. This is primarily due to lower coho survival rates and much higher chinook survival rates and catch in the late 1980s. The commercial troll fishery has not had any significant coho opportunity to the South of Cape Falcon since 1992, and Chinook will predominate in the landings unless coho populations recover substantially to allow directed coho fisheries to resume coast wide.

Entry into the troll fishery was unrestricted until 1980 when a permit moratorium was adopted. Although 4,311 vessels already had Oregon troll permits, a goal of 2,400 vessels licensed to troll for salmon in Oregon was established. At the request of the troll industry, the Legislature reduced the permit cap to 1,800 then to 1,200 and finally to 1,000. In 2012, the permit cap was eliminated, but no means to re-issue permits was provided. This will result in a continued slow decline in the number of permits in the fishery. In most recent years, approximately 40-60% of the issued permits have actually fished in any given season.

OCEAN RECREATIONAL SALMON FISHERY

Oregon's ocean recreational salmon fishery originated with boats fishing in the bays on stocks returning to freshwater in the fall. A few boats would venture out into the ocean on favorable days. The late 1940s and early 1950s marked the beginning of increasing effort by both the charter and private boat fleet in the ocean. Better and safer equipment plus the development of small boat basins and launching ramps and other support facilities in many coastal towns encouraged ocean fishing.

The primary targeted species of the Oregon recreational fleet has traditionally been coho salmon with chinook a distant second. The fishery has been sampled by ODFW's Ocean Salmon Management Program since the early 1960s. Ocean creel data was supplemented by salmon/steelhead tag license data through the 1980 season. An extensive statistical creel data collection program began in 1979, and that data has been the sole source since 1981.

The peak catch and effort year was 1976 when 538,400 angler trips resulted in a catch of 79,300 chinook and 501,300 coho. The daily bag limit in 1976 was 3 salmon and the season lasted from April 10 to December 31. In 1996, the seasons and catch quotas were very limited; and resulted in an ocean catch of only 11,210 chinook and 7,176 coho from 43,962 salmon angler trips.

Beginning in 1994, Oregon's ocean recreational fishery was limited to chinook salmon.  In 1998, the first selective hatchery coho (fin-clipped) fisheries were authorized off Oregon.  These selective fisheries have allowed limited, but successful, targeted coho salmon fisheries to resume. In 2011, small scale non-selective coho seasons were opened along the Central Coast in September. A result of strong recovery of the Oregon Coastal Natural (OCN) coho; this opportunity in September has proven to be an effective management option to target the abundant OCN coho while limiting fishery impacts on other coho populations of concern. These September seasons have also been very popular with the angling public.

 

Contact:

Eric Schindler - Project Leader
E-mail: Eric.D.Schindler@odfw.oregon.gov

Justine Kenyon-Benson - Assistant Project Leader
E-mail: Justine.Kenyon-Benson@odfw.oregon.gov

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
2040 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, Oregon 97365
(541) 867-4741

 

Link to salmon identification guide

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