Salmon blog

Council Chooses Options for 2016 Salmon Season

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Sacramento, California – The Pacific Fishery Management Council yesterday adopted three public review alternatives for the 2016 salmon season off the West Coast of the United States. The Council will select a final alternative at their next meeting in Vancouver, Washington on April 9-14. Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three alternatives are available on the Council’s website at http://tinyurl.com/salmon2016. “The mix of salmon runs this year is unusual,” said outgoing Executive Director Donald McIsaac. “In the north, the return of fall Chinook to the Columbia River is forecast to be exceptionally high again, but expectations for wild coho runs to the Washington Coast and Puget Sound areas can only be described as disastrous. In the south, the Sacramento River fall Chinook are healthy, but Klamath River fall Chinook are so poor that the Council’s policy calls for a low ‘de minimis’ catch in ocean fisheries.” “This will be a challenging year for salmon fisheries. Several key stocks are less abundant than usual due to environmental conditions like the California drought and El Niño, which have affected ocean abundance for some stocks. However, there are alternatives that provide opportunities for both commercial and recreational salmon fishing coastwide,” said Council Vice-Chair Herb Pollard.

Northern Oregon and Washington (north of Cape Falcon)

Sport season alternatives

Ocean sport fishery options north of Cape Falcon in Oregon and off the Washington coast are focused on Chinook salmon this year, with mark-selective Chinook fishing alternatives for June; and July-August fisheries, which are not mark-selective. Chinook recreational quotas range from 30,000 to 58,600. For coho, one alternative allows modest coastwide opportunity for 37,800 hatchery coho in July and August. One alternative permits limited coho fishing only in the Columbia River area between Cape Falcon and Leadbetter Point, with a coho quota of 14,700 hatchery coho that starts in late June and runs into September. One alternative is closed to all non-Indian recreational and commercial fishing north of Cape Falcon in response to concerns over extremely low forecasts. In a year like this, it is appropriate to see the effects of complete protection for key Washington coastal and Puget Sound wild coho stocks.

Commercial season options

Non-Indian ocean commercial fishery alternatives north of Cape Falcon include traditional Chinook seasons between May and September. Chinook quotas for all areas and times range from 30,000 to 56,000, compared to 67,000 in 2015. Only one commercial fishery alternative allows retention of coho, with a quota of 7,200 marked coho (compared to 19,200 in 2015).

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon

Alternative Chinook and coho quotas for tribal ocean fisheries range from quotas of 30,000 to 50,000 for Chinook salmon, while coho quotas range from 0 to 40,000. Seasons open May 1 and run through August or September 15. The zero coho quota alternative for the tribal ocean fishery reflects concern over the very low forecasts for key Washington coastal and Puget Sound wild coho stocks.

 California and southern Oregon (south of Cape Falcon) 

Sport season options

California ocean sport fishing alternatives provide seasons that range from fairly continuous traditional seasons to more conservative alternatives with mid-season closures or shortened seasons to protect Klamath River fall Chinook or Sacramento River winter Chinook.

Chinook directed Klamath Management Zone alternatives (Humbug Mt., Oregon to Horse Mt., California) generally open in May and run through Labor Day (except that one alternative closes August 31), and all alternatives have closed periods to reduce impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook.

Alternatives for Oregon Chinook fishing in the Tillamook, Newport, and Coos Bay areas all open March 15 and run either continuously through October 31 or are closed May through August.

Oregon ocean recreational alternatives include mark-selective coho fishing seasons starting in June or July and run through July or into early August in the area between Cape Falcon and the Oregon/California border. Quotas range from 15,000 to 30,000 marked coho. In addition, non-mark-selective fisheries are proposed for the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. in September with quotas ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 coho.

Commercial season options

From the north, commercial Chinook salmon season alternatives in the Tillamook, Newport, and Coos Bay area open April 8 and run through September or October but have several closed periods.

Oregon season alternatives in the Brookings area of the Klamath Management Zone are generally open for Chinook most of April and May, and one alternative includes small quota fisheries in June, July, and August.

California commercial season alternatives in the Klamath Management Zone north of the Humboldt South Jetty include two small quota (3,000 and 1,000) fisheries in September, and one alternative with no fishing.

Commercial season alternatives south of the Klamath Management Zone are generally closed in July to protect Klamath fall Chinook. Open periods are all or part of May, and depending on the area, all or parts of June, August, and September, with fewer open periods to the south to protect Sacramento River winter Chinook.

Management Process

Public hearings to receive input on the options are scheduled for March 28 in Westport, Washington and Coos Bay, Oregon; and for March 29 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 9-14 in Vancouver, Washington.

At its April meeting in Vancouver, 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 United States of America coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

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On the Web ·

Draft Alternative for 2016 salmon management

Final Alternatives and analyses of the biological and socioeconomic impacts will be posted on the Council web page in the near future.

Description of 2016 salmon management process

Fact sheet: Salmon

Fact sheet: Common Terms Used in Salmon Management

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Council-Adopted Salmon Management Measures (Tables) for Public Review

Monday, March 14th, 2016

DRAFT Council-Adopted Salmon Management Measures (Tables) for Public Review

The following DRAFT salmon management measure tables were adopted by the Council for public review at their March 2016 meeting.  Please keep in mind the tables are DRAFT until published in Preseason Report II.  (tentatively scheduled for March 23).

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PRELIMINARY DRAFT MARCH 2016 COUNCIL MEETING MOTIONS IN WRITING

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Cautionary Note — These preliminary motions do not represent the final official administrative record.  The motions and amendments contained in this blog are as projected on the screen at the Council meeting at the time of the Council vote and often use expedited language and references without the benefit of any final editing or proofing.  They may use short-hand language or abbreviations that may not be clear without the context of verbal comments and clarifications made during their development at the meeting, or may contain inadvertent transposition errors.  They have not been approved by the Council to represent the final official record of Council action.  The final official record will be posted on the Council website after the Council approves the full meeting record at a future Council meeting.

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Public Comment Deadline for the April 2016 Briefing Book

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

PUBLIC COMMENT DEADLINE – April 2016 ADVANCE BRIEFING BOOK

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Thursday, March 17, 2016, 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 comment materials received at the Council office after the March 17, 2016, 11:59 pm deadline, but BY 11:59 pm, Sunday, April 3, 2016 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.

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Salmon Preseason Report I Available on Council’s Website

Friday, February 26th, 2016

The document Preseason Report I: Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental Assessment Part 1 for 2016 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations has been posted to the Council’s website. Please visit the 2016 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.

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March 2016 Briefing Book Available Online

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

The Briefing Book for the March 2016 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.

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Review of 2015 Ocean Salmon Fisheries available online

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

The Council’s annual review of 2015 ocean salmon fisheries is available online. The review document provides a summary of important biological and socioeconomic data from which to assess the impacts of past management actions, determine how well management objectives are being met, and improve regulations for the future. The Council will formally review this report at its March meeting prior to the development of management alternatives for the approaching fishing season.

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March 8-14, 2016 Council Meeting Notice and Agenda

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory bodies will meet March 8‐14, 2016 in Sacramento, California to address issues related to salmon, groundfish, Pacific halibut, highly migratory species, ecosystem‐based management, and habitat matters.

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

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Public Comment Deadline for the March 2016 Briefing Book

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Public Comment Deadline – March 2016 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Monday, February 8, 2016, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the March meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received at the Council office after the February 8, 2016, 11:59 pm deadline, but BY 5 pm, Monday, February 29, 2016 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the March 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.

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Winter 2015 Newsletter Available Online

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The Winter 2015 issue of Pacific Council News is now available on the Council’s website. You may view past issues of the Council’s newsletter by visiting the Council’s Newsletter Archives webpage.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions regarding Pacific Council News, Winter 2015, please direct them to: Ms. Jennifer Gilden, Information and Communications Specialist at (503) 820-2280 ext. 418 or toll free: 1-866-806-7204.

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