Game Fishing Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
By SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 14, 7:45 PM ET



SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The sudden collapse of the central California chinook salmon fishery has prompted federal fisheries managers to consider closing this year's salmon-fishing season from northern Oregon to the Mexican border.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Pacific Fishery Management Council was expected Friday to settle on three potential strategies to protect the dwindling salmon that remain alive in the ocean, including shutting down the season or severely limiting fishing.

The council is expected to chose a final fishing recommendation in April at its meeting in Seattle.

"I think the likeliest outcome this year is no one will put a hook in the water," said Humboldt County fisherman Dave Bitts, who was attending the weeklong meeting in Sacramento.

The Sacramento River chinook run is usually considered one of the healthiest on the West Coast, but this year's run is so weak that most fishermen are expecting the worst.

Fishermen say a closure would trigger economic hardship for them and related businesses in California and Oregon that are still trying to recover from a disastrous season two years ago when salmon numbers were low in the Klamath River.

"It's going to have a big effect on our coastal communities," said Zeke Grader, executive director of the San Francisco-based Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.

A closure of fisheries in California and most of Oregon also could lead to higher salmon prices for restaurants and consumers who would be forced to buy Alaska-caught salmon instead of locally-caught salmon.

In most years, about 90 percent of wild chinook or "king" salmon caught off the California coast originate in the Sacramento River and its tributaries.

Only about 90,000 adult salmon returned to the Sacramento River and its tributaries to spawn last year, the second lowest number on record and well below the government's conservation goals, according to federal fishery regulators. That's down from 277,000 in 2006 and a record high of 804,000 in 2002.

Biologists are predicting that this year's salmon returns could be even lower because the number of returning young male fish, known as "jacks," hit an all-time low last year. Only about 2,000 of them were recorded, which is far below the 40,000 counted in a typical year.

Other West Coast rivers also have seen declines in their salmon runs, though not as steep as California's Central Valley.

Experts are unclear about what caused California's collapse.

Some marine scientists say the salmon declines can be attributed in part to unusual weather patterns that have disrupted the marine food chain in the ocean along the Pacific Coast in recent years.

Fishermen, environmental groups and Native Americans largely blame the salmon's troubles on poor water quality and water diversions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yep, My uncle lives in Tehama on the Sac river. He is a guide there. Fishing there justs keeps getting worse he says.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top