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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)

First time ocean salmon angler.

Recreational ocean salmon regulations:

 

State waters only fall Chinook terminal area seasons:

  • None scheduled for fall of 2020

Commercial troller waiting and watching.

Commercial ocean troll salmon regulations:

 

State waters only fall Chinook terminal area seasons:

  • None scheduled for fall of 2020

Oregon Managment Areas

Other regulation information:

 

Related links:

Two Chinook on top and one coho on bottom.

Catch and quota updates:

 

Season closed effective 11:59 PM Sunday, July 26. Updated through August 30, 2020 (pdf) – last updated Sept. 2, 2020

Updated through October 11, 2020 (pdf) - last updated October 16, 2020

Recent management actions and updates:

 

September 8, 2020 - ACTION NOTICE - Recreational Ocean Salmon: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, members of the Salmon Technical Team, members of the Salmon Advisory Subpanel, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, has taken the following in-season action with respect to the recreational salmon fishery in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.:

ACTION TAKEN: The recreational non-selective Coho Salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is now closed to retention of Coho Salmon for the remainder of the year. Angling for Chinook Salmon remains open through October within this area.

RATIONALE: The non-mark selective coho season opened on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5 on an adjusted quota of 4,650 Coho Salmon following the impact neutral rollover of coho remaining on the quota from the hatchery mark selective season which ended on August 16. The non-mark selective coho season was slated to run each Friday and Saturday in September through the earlier of the quota or September 30. The fishery opened with ocean conditions that ranged from fair to good and catch rates varied from fair to very good within the open area. Number of participating anglers was very high on the holiday weekend especially at Garibaldi and Newport. 

The preliminary estimate of catch from the two day opening totaled 4,372 coho leaving only 278 coho remaining on the quota, and not enough coho for another day of fishing.  Retention of all salmon except coho remains open through October 31, 2020 from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.

 

August 26, 2020 - ACTION NOTICE - Recreational Ocean Salmon: NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, representatives from the recreational salmon fishery, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and members of the Salmon Technical Team, has taken the following in-season action with respect to the recreational salmon fishery in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain:
ACTION TAKEN:

  • An impact neutral rollover of coho remaining from the mark selective summer season was made to the non-mark selective September season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. This resulted in a net increase of 1,650 coho in the non-selective coho quota and a revised quota of 4,650 coho.
  • The non-selective coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. is open each Friday and Saturday from September 4 through the earlier of the revised quota or September 30. Open days within September may be adjusted by further action.

RATIONALE AND NOTES: The recreational season in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. landed an estimated 13,392 coho during the June 22 to August 16 mark selective season out of the quota of 22,000 adipose fin-clipped coho. This left 8,608 coho available to roll forward on an impact neutral basis to the non-selective coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. which opens on Friday, September 4 and Saturday, September 5.  In September, the most constraining coho stock for the rollover calculation is Oregon Coastal Natural (OCN) coho, and OCN coho are anticipated to make up approximately 60% of the catch in the September non-selective season. 


Angling for Chinook salmon (all-salmon except coho) is open 7 days per week through October 31 within the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.  The Chinook salmon season (all-salmon except coho) from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. will also reopen March 15, 2021 unless modified by in-season management action during the March Pacific Fishery Management Council by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

7/23/2020 ACTION NOTICE – Recreational Ocean Salmon: NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, representatives from the recreational and the commercial ocean troll salmon fisheries, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, has taken in-season action with respect to the recreational salmon fishery in the area from Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon.


ACTIONS TAKEN:

  • Recreational ocean salmon angling within the Columbia River Ocean Salmon Management Area (Leadbetter Point, Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon), closes effective 11:59 PM on Sunday, July 26, 2020.  

RATIONALE AND NOTES: The marked Coho Salmon harvest in this area is expected to approach the quota of 13,250 Coho Salmon by the end of the day on Sunday, July 26. Through Sunday, July 19 an estimated 9,164 Coho Salmon had been landed out of the quota leaving only 4,086 Coho Salmon remaining on the quota.  The week of July 6-12, had an estimated 4,031 angler-trips and a harvest of 5,898 Coho Salmon.  The most recent week of fishing (July 13-19) had very poor ocean weather conditions, but catch rates remained near a fish per angler for the boats that did make it out, with a total of 1,384 Coho Salmon landed from 1,558 angler-trips.  This week the weather has improved, with good ocean conditions forecast through Friday and catch rates near 1.4 salmon per angler.  WDFW provided a forecast for the week of July 20-26 Sunday of slightly less than 4,000 Coho Salmon landed for the week.


Prior to the call, the commercial troll fishery and the Westport recreational fishery offered up an extra 500 Coho Salmon to help insure that the fishery could stay open through Sunday without exceeding the quota. However, the best assessment by fishery managers was that there was no need to request the transfer at this time.

July 9, 2020 ACTION NOTICE - Commercial Troll Salmon (1 of 2): NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, representatives from the commercial troll fishery, and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, has taken in-season actions with respect to the commercial troll salmon fishery from the US/Canada Border to Cape Falcon:

ACTION TAKEN:

  • Remaining Chinook quota from the May-June commercial troll salmon season North of Cape Falcon is rolled over to the July-September season on an impact-neutral basis. The July-September quota is increased from 13,820 to 25,499 Chinook salmon.

RATIONALE: A total of 2,141 Chinook were landed out of the May-June quota of 13,820 Chinook.   The remaining 11,679 Chinook from the May-June US/Canada Border to Cape Falcon troll salmon fishery were evaluated for potential rollover on an impact neutral basis to the July-September troll salmon fishery in the same area. The impacts were neutral or better on all management stocks, and NOAA Fisheries approved the rollover on a 1:1 basis.  This resulted in a revised July-September Chinook quota of 25,499 fish.


Participating vessels are reminded of the mandatory reporting of landings within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing. Reports may be made by phone to (541)867-0300 ext. 271 or by email to nfalcon.trollreport@state.or.us. Report should include the vessel name and documentation number, the number of Chinook salmon being landed, the port of landing, the name of the fish buyer to whom the fish are being sold, and the estimated time of delivery.

 

July 9, 2020 ACTION NOTICE – Commercial Troll Salmon (2 of 2): NOAA Fisheries in consultation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and fishery representatives has taken the following in-season action in the commercial troll salmon fishery in the area from Humbug Mt. to the Oregon/California Border:

ACTION TAKEN:

  • The July Chinook salmon quota for the area from Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA Border is increased by 330 Chinook to a revised quota of 630 Chinook

RATIONALE:  June landings totaled 165 Chinook out of the quota of 700 Chinook, leaving 535 Chinook remaining on the quota. When the remaining Chinook from the June quota were rolled forward to July on an impact neutral basis for all management stocks, it resulted in a net increase in the transferred quota at a rate of approximately 0.62 July equivalents for each June fish being transferred, and resulted in a net increase of 330 Chinook available to the July quota.  The limiting stock in the rollover was Klamath fall Chinook with a higher forecast contact rate in July than in June.

Participating vessels are reminded of the mandatory reporting of landings within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing. Reports may be made by phone to (541)867-0300 ext. 252 or by email to kmzor.trollreport@state.or.us. Report should include the vessel name and documentation number, the number of Chinook salmon being landed, the port of landing, the name of the fish buyer to whom the fish are being sold, and the estimated time of delivery.

 

April 11, 2020 OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE:

The Pacific Fishery Management Council finalized their recommendations for 2020 ocean salmon seasons on Friday, April 10. Draft copies of the adopted seasons will be available at the PMFC’s website in the near future (www.pcouncil.org), and graphics of the recreational and commercial troll seasons have been made available on www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/salmon/. Seasons beginning in May are not official until receiving final approval by the Secretary of Commerce, and adopted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for waters within 3 nautical miles of shore.

The adopted regulations for Chinook Salmon reflect the improved status of Sacramento River fall Chinook. Most of the north migrating stocks of Chinook (Oregon Coastal Chinook stocks from the Nehalem River south to the Elk River as well as a number of Columbia River Chinook stocks) are in moderate to poor condition. These north migrating stocks of Chinook contribute very little to Oregon’s ocean seasons, but are very important to Oregon’s estuary and river recreational seasons.

Columbia basin hatchery Coho Salmon abundance is forecast to be very poor this year, and recreational coho quotas are much reduced from what was available in 2019.

Recreational Season Summary:

Ocean waters off the Columbia River from Leadbetter Pt., Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon will be open for recreational salmon fishing for Chinook only from June 20-28 with a one fish bag limit and a 22” minimum length.

The all salmon season will open on June 29 and continue through the earlier of September 30 or quota with a hatchery mark selective Coho Salmon quota of 13,250, and a Chinook Salmon guideline of 7,000. The daily bag limit will be two salmon, but no more than one Chinook Salmon and all Coho Salmon must have a healed adipose fin clip. Minimum length for Chinook is 22” and the coho minimum length is 16”.

Recreational Chinook Salmon seasons on the central Oregon Coast from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. opened for Chinook Salmon on March 15 and will continue through October 31. The area from Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA Border will be open for recreational Chinook Salmon beginning on June 20 and continuing through August 7. Chinook minimum length from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA Border is 24”.

The hatchery mark selective Coho Salmon season from Cape Falcon to the Humbug Mt. will be open from June 27 through the earlier of August 16 or the quota of 22,000 adipose fin-clipped Coho Salmon. There will be also be a much more limited non-selective Coho Salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. in September. This non-selective season will open on September 4 and be open each Friday and Saturday through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 3,000 non mark selective Coho Salmon. Coho minimum length of 16”.

Commercial Troll Season Summary:

The commercial troll salmon seasons north of Cape Falcon will have very limited Chinook Salmon quotas again this year. The fishery will be managed by quotas, season length, and vessel landing week (Thursday-Wednesday) limits. The early Chinook Salmon only season will start on May 6 and will continue through the earlier of June 28 or the overall quota of 13,820 Chinook Salmon, or the Leadbetter Pt. to Cape Falcon subarea cap of 3,770 Chinook Salmon. The season will have a 75 Chinook Salmon per vessel per landing week (Thurs-Wed).

The summer all salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon will open on July 1 and continue through the earlier of the overall Chinook Salmon quota of 13,820 Chinook or 2,000 fin clipped coho. Landing week (Thurs-Wed) limit of 10 adipose fin-clipped Coho Salmon per vessel. Mandatory call-in requirements within an hour of landing are in place for all quota managed seasons. Vessels must call in to (541)867-0300 x271 with vessel name, vessel number, number of harvested salmon by species, port of landing, destination, and estimated time of delivery. The mandatory report can also be made by email to nfalcon.trollreport@state.or.us

From Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. the Chinook Salmon season will be open April 20-May 5, May 26-31, June 4-August 25, and September 1 through October 31. Beginning September 1, a 75 Chinook Salmon per vessel weekly limit (Thursday through Wednesday) will be in place.

From Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA Border, the commercial troll fishery will be open April 20-May 5 and May 26-31 without quota limitations. The June quota managed season will be open June 4 through the earlier of June 30 or a 700 Chinook quota with landing week (Thurs-Wed) limits of 40 Chinook Salmon per vessel. The July quota managed season will be open July 1 through the earlier of July 31 or a 300 Chinook quota with landing week (Thurs-Wed) limits of 40 Chinook Salmon per vessel. Unused quota from June may be transferred forward to the July quota period on an impact neutral basis. Mandatory call-in requirements within an hour of landing are in place for all quota managed seasons. Vessels must call in to (541)867-0300 x252 with vessel name, vessel number, number of harvested salmon by species, port of landing, destination, and estimated time of delivery. The report may also be made by email to kmzor.trollreport@state.or.us

Other Information:

Both commercial troll salmon fishermen and recreational anglers should review the full regulations prior to participating in the ocean salmon fisheries. Commercial reporting requirements via phone or email remain in effect for all quota managed salmon seasons.

Questions should be directed to Eric Schindler at (541)867-0300 x252 or Justine Kenyon-Benson at (541)867-0300 x271.

 

April 8, 2020 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 California, and representatives of the commercial troll salmon fishery met this afternoon by webinar and have taken the following in-season management action related to the scheduled April commercial troll Chinook salmon openings off Oregon:

ACTION TAKEN: 

The commercial troll salmon fishery scheduled to open on April 15 in the areas from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. and Humbug Mt. to the Oregon/California Border will remain closed to commercial troll salmon fishing through April 19, and will be open for all salmon except coho from April 20 through May 5 with a 28” minimum total length for Chinook Salmon. No more than 4 spreads per wire, and single point barbless hooks are required.

RATIONALE:  Fishery managers and industry representatives agreed that delaying the opening until April 20 was needed to help manage impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook in order to provide adequate opportunity as requested from fishery participants throughout the remainder of the fishing seasons that are currently under development. Seasons from May 6, 2020 through early May 2021 are currently being developedd by webinar by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Final season recommendations are anticipated to be made on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Please visit the PFMC’s website at www.pcouncil.org for details.

 

March 8, 2020 COMMERCIAL TROLL SALMON ACTION NOTICE:

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 this afternoon in Rohnert Park, California and have taken the following in-season management action related to the scheduled March and April commercial troll Chinook salmon openings off Oregon:

ACTIONS TAKEN: 

(1) The commercial troll salmon fishery scheduled to open on March 15 in the areas from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. and Humbug Mt. to the Oregon/California Border will remain closed to commercial troll salmon fishing for the period of March 15 through April 14, and will open for all salmon except coho on April 15 with a 28” minimum total length for Chinook Salmon. This planned opening will be reviewed again in early April and may be adjusted by further inseason action.

(2) The incidental commercial troll Pacific Halibut season will open for 2020 effective April 15 with the earliest commercial troll salmon seasons. The Pacific Halibut regulations include a ratio limit of 1 halibut per each 2 Chinook plus 1 halibut outside of the ratio, a maximum of 35 halibut per trip, and a minimum head-on total length of 32 inches.

RATIONALE:  Fishery managers and industry representatives agreed that delaying the opening until April 15 was needed to help manage impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook in order to provide adequate opportunity as requested from fishery participants throughout the remainder of the fishing seasons that are currently under development. The April 15 opening date may still be modified by inseason action in early April. Seasons from May 1, 2020 through early May 2021 are currently being developed. Season alternatives will be reviewed and a final season recommendation made at the Pacific Fishery Management Council public meeting (this meeting was original scheduled for April 4-10). Due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus and ongoing efforts to slow its spread, the PFMC will be holding all remaining meetings by webinar. Please visit the PFMC’s website at www.pcouncil.org for details.

 

March 8, 2020 RECREATIONAL OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE:

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 this afternoon in Rohnert Park, California and have reviewed the scheduled March and April recreational ocean Chinook salmon openings off Oregon:

ACTION TAKEN:  The planned ocean Chinook salmon (all-salmon-except coho) season will open as scheduled from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. on March 15, 2020. The bag limit will be two salmon, except closed to retention of coho, with a minimum size of 24” for Chinook and a minimum size of 20” for steelhead.

RATIONALE:  The recreational ocean fishery off Oregon in March, April, and early May typically has very low effort and Chinook catch. Fishery managers and industry representatives agreed that this opening would not create any difficulty in developing the remainder of the ocean seasons for the 2020 fishing year. Seasons from May 6, 2020 through early May 2021 are currently being developed. Season alternatives will be reviewed and a final season recommendation made at the Pacific Fishery Management Council public meeting April 4-10 in Vancouver, Washington. Due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus, the PFMC will be holding all remaining meetings by webinar. Please visit the PFMC’s website at www.pcouncil.org for details.

 

2020 PRE-SEASON PLANNING: OCEAN SALMON MEETING NOTICE:

The 2020 Ocean Salmon Industry Group meeting (OSIG) is scheduled for Thursday, February 27, 2020. This pre-season planning meeting will provide a review of the 2019 seasons, take a first look at the 2020 salmon forecasts, and develop a set 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 OSIG meeting will be held at the Hallmark Resort, 744 SW Elizabeth Street, Newport, OR.

The OSIG 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 2020 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. Doors open at 9:30 AM at the Hallmark Resort's Salon Room (downstairs) with presentations scheduled to start at 10:00 AM and conclude by 3:30 PM. There will be a lunch break between 12:00 PM and 1:15 PM. Links to the agenda and briefing materials for the meeting will be posted here as they come available in January and February.

The first of the two salmon season setting meetings by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma in Rohnert Park, California (One DoubleTree Drive, Rohnert Park, CA) from March 3-9. This first PFMC meeting in Rohnert Park will establish a range of alternatives for further review. The final season setting meeting will occur in early April (original dates were April 4-10). Due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus and ongoing efforts to slow its spread, the PFMC will be holding all remaining meetings by webinar. Please visit the PFMC’s website at www.pcouncil.org for details. More information on these meetings can be found at the PFMC's website.

  • Agenda
  • Briefing Documents and supplemental slides
  • Comments for 2020 Ocean Salmon Seasons
    • June 7, 2019 - Recommended best practices for reducing handling mortality for catching and releasing ocean salmon:

      Hooks:

      • Single point barbless hooks are legally required and a best practice as well.
      • 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 mortality studies indicate that hook sizes in the 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 any 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 a heavy leader to better facilitate controlling the fish by hand as you prepare to release it.

      Fishing Methods:

      • If you are targeting Chinook, then some of these tips will help avoid incidental coho contacts.
        • Fish deep: Chinook are usually going to be found deeper in the water column than coho. Coho are most commonly found in the top 30 feet of the water column. Getting deeper can be accomplished with the use of a downrigger, larger deep diving planes, or heavy leads.
        • Slow down: Coho are more likely to strike at faster moving baits and lures, while Chinook generally will take gear trolled slower.
        • Use longer leaders: Coho like a “frantic lure or bait”, so if you are using a dodger or flasher, a longer leader 20”-36” will slow the action down a bit.
        • Use large artificial plugs or whole bait early in the season: Early in the year, large (6” or larger) artificial plugs or bait are often larger than a coho will try to take. Later in the season this will no likely reduce coho contacts.
      • Bait has a higher likelihood of being taken deep and resulting in a deep hook-up than most lures.
      • If mooching/drifting whole or plug cut bait for salmon, a circle hook will result in fewer gullet and gill hooked salmon.

       

       

     

    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.

    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@state.or.us

    Justine Kenyon-Benson - Assistant Project Leader
    E-mail: Justine.Kenyon-Benson@state.or.us

    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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