Salmon blog

Reminder! Public Hearings on Salmon Management Alternatives to be Held

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Public hearings will be held to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management alternatives adopted by the Council March 30-31, 2015. All public hearings begin at 7 p.m. on the dates and at the locations specified below:

Monday, March 30, 2015
Chateau Westport
Beach Room
710 W Hancock
Westport, WA 98595
360-268-9101
Driving Directions

Monday, March 30, 2015
Red Lion Hotel
South Umpqua Room
1313 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
541-267-4141
Driving Directions

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Motel 6
Convention Room
400 S. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
707-964-4761
Driving Directions

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2425 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information about the public hearings, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at 503-820-2414; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.

April 10-16, 2015 Council Meeting

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Council and its advisory bodies will meet April 10-16, 2015 in Rohnert Park, California to address issues related to salmon, Pacific halibut, groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and essential fish habitat matters.

Please visit the “Current Council Meeting” webpage for meeting and agenda details.

March 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, March 16th, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met March 8-12, 2015 in Vancouver, Washington, USA. The March 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

April 2015 Public Comment Deadline

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Public Comment Deadline – April 2015 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Friday, March 20, 2015, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the April meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comments or materials received at the Council office after March 20, 2015, but BY 11:59 pm, Thursday, April 2 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the April meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”

See the Council’s Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.

Council Chooses Options for 2015 Salmon Season

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Vancouver, Washington – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today adopted three public review options for the 2015 salmon season off the West Coast of the United States. The Council will select a final option at their next meeting in Rohnert Park, California on April 10‐16. Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three options are available on the Council’s website.

In general, the news is good, with strong stocks up and down the coast.

Northern Oregon and Washington (north of Cape Falcon)

Sport season options

Ocean sport fishery options north of Cape Falcon in Oregon and off the Washington coast have mark‐selective coho quotas ranging from 117,600 to 159,200 that start in late June and run into September (last year, the quota was 184,300 coho). For Chinook salmon, quotas range from 52,000 Chinook to 58,000 Chinook (last year, the quota was 59,100 Chinook). Chinook quotas are limited due to in order to protect lower Columbia River tule fall Chinook, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Commercial and tribal season options

Non‐Indian ocean commercial fishery options north of Cape Falcon include traditional Chinook seasons between May and September. Chinook quotas for all areas and times range from 53,500‐67,000, similar to 2014. The marked coho quotas range from 22,400 to 25,600 (moderately lower than last year’s quota of 35,200).

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon

Alternative Chinook and coho quotas for tribal ocean fisheries are similar or slightly below 2014 levels. Chinook quotas range from 40,000‐66,250 and coho quotas range from 30,000 to 50,000.

Total Returns North of Cape Falcon

North of Cape Falcon, Columbia River coho returns were large, as forecast, at 966,000. Columbia River Chinook returns were also large, with some runs at record levels. The 2014 Columbia River tule Chinook forecasts are similar to 2014 at 94,900, and combined fall Chinook returns are again expected to be strong. The hatchery coho forecasts for the Columbia River are moderately less than 2014, but still expected to be strong and over 700,000 fish. In addition, the forecast for Oregon coastal natural (OCN) coho is 206,600.

California and southern Oregon (south of Cape Falcon)
Sport season options

California ocean sport fishing options generally provide continuous fishing opportunity from April to October or November. However, one alternative for 2015 takes a precautionary approach due to concerns for future Chinook abundance, particularly Sacramento River winter Chinook.

Oregon ocean recreational options include mark‐selective coho fishing seasons starting in June or July and running into September. Quotas range from 40,000 to 60,000 coho.

In addition, non‐mark‐selective fisheries are proposed in September with quotas ranging from 8,000 to 15,000 coho.

Options for Oregon ocean Chinook fishing in the Brookings area run May through September. For the Tillamook, Newport, and Coos Bay areas, season options range from March to October.

Commercial season options
From the north, commercial Chinook salmon season options in the Tillamook, Newport, and Coos Bay area range from April through October.

Oregon season options in the Brookings area range from May to September with quotas generally improved due to slightly improved abundance of Klamath River fall Chinook in 2015. Commercial ocean salmon fishing seasons off California range from May through September, although all options include a closure between Humboldt South Jetty and Horse Mtn. Opportunity for commercial fisheries in the Fort Bragg and Crescent City areas are also improved from 2014, again largely due to improved expectations for Klamath fall Chinook.

Total Returns in California and Southern Oregon
Central Valley fall Chinook are forecast at over 652,000, providing salmon fishing opportunity while allowing estimated spawning escapements over 300,000. The minimum conservation goal is 122,000 – 180,000 spawning adult salmon. Also in California, the ocean abundance forecast for Klamath River Fall Chinook is nearly 423,000, providing reasonable sport and commercial harvest while meeting the minimum natural spawning goal of 40,700, and the 2015 management objective of an ocean harvest rate of no more than 16 percent.

Management Process
Public hearings to receive input on the options are scheduled for March 30 in Westport, Washington and Coos Bay, Oregon; and for March 31 in Fort Bragg, California. The Council will consult with scientists, hear public comment, and revise preliminary decisions until it chooses a final option at its meeting April 10‐16 in Rohnert Park, California.

At its April meeting in Rohnert Park, the Council will narrow these options to a single season recommendation to be forwarded to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for their final approval before May 1.

All Council meetings are open to the public.

Council Role
The Pacific Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 for the purpose of managing fisheries 3‐200 miles offshore of the U.S. coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

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On the Web

2015 Salmon management alternatives for public review now available (tables)

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

These alternative management measures are also available in Preseason Report II.

The following tables detail the 2015 salmon management alternatives for public review:

Salmon Preseason Report I Available on Council’s Website

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The document Preseason Report I: Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental Assessment Part 1 for 2015 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations has been posted to the Council’s website. Please visit the 2015 Preseason Report I webpage to view and download the document.

For further information regarding the salmon management documents, please contact: Mr. Mike Burner at 503-820-2414 or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 414.

Historical Data Document for Salmon Fisheries Updated

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The Historical Data Document for salmon fisheries and runs was just updated. This document has four parts: (1) ocean effort and landings, (2) freshwater spawning escapement and catch, (3) ocean fishing regulations, and (4) economic information on salmon fisheries. The document provides the same information as Appendices A-D in the review of 2014 ocean salmon fisheries, but includes individual years as well as five-year averages for earlier years, and provides the data in excel spreadsheets so folks can more easily download and manipulate data for their own purposes. Visit the Salmon Historical Document webpage.

March 2015 Briefing Book Available Online

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The Briefing Book for the March 2015 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains “situation summaries” (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, and written public comment. Advisory body and committee agendas and memos are also available.

NMFS Releases Regional Electronic Technology Implementation Plans

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

NOAA Fisheries (NMFS) has released its regional electronic technology implementation plans. The West Coast plan is available here.

NOAA Fisheries is figuring out how technology such as on-board cameras, tablets, and electronic logbooks can be used to monitor fishing activity and report catch. One idea is to supplement human observers with digital video cameras and software capable of measuring and identifying different species of fish.

NOAA Fisheries has supported over 30 pilot projects that experiment with new technologies. They have created regional plans to identify, evaluate, and prioritize implementation of promising electronic technologies that improve our knowledge of the fisheries and empower fishermen and other citizens to become more actively involved in the data collection process. Click below to read plans for other regions:

These plans are works-in-progress and part of an ongoing process to improve the timeliness and quality of our fisheries information. Aiding this process are a series of white papers, an internal policy directive, and a draft discussion paper of advice and best practices to inform the public conversation about emerging technologies in fisheries reporting and monitoring.