Salmon blog

West Coast Salmon Season Dates Set for 2017

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Sacramento, Ca. – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today adopted ocean salmon season recommendations that provide recreational and commercial opportunities for most of the Pacific coast. However, due to low forecasts, several areas are closed this year, and the open areas are significantly constrained. The adopted salmon fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington do achieve conservation goals for the numerous individual salmon stocks on the West Coast..

The recommendation will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2017.

“It has been another challenging year for the Council, its advisors, fishery stakeholders and the public as we strive to balance fishing opportunities on harvestable stocks of Chinook and coho with the severe conservation needs we are facing on salmon stocks, both north and south of Cape Falcon,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy.  “The Council has recommended commercial and recreational ocean salmon seasons in Washington, Oregon, and California this year that provide important protections for stocks of concern including Klamath River fall Chinook, Washington coastal coho, and Puget Sound Chinook.”

“We have made the tough decisions and implemented fishery restrictions to protect salmon stocks while providing at least some opportunity for commercial recreational, and tribal ocean salmon fishing along much of the west coast,” said Council Chair Herb Pollard.

Washington and Northern Oregon (North of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries north of Cape Falcon (near Nehalem in northern Oregon) depend largely on Columbia River Chinook and coho stocks. Columbia River fall Chinook returns are expected to be healthy in 2017, and Columbia River coho are expected to return at reduced but moderate levels in 2017. However, some coastal Washington and Puget Sound coho abundance is reduced from recent years, and some wild coho stocks are expected to return at very low levels. In response, the Council has been challenged with shaping fisheries to provide access to relatively abundant Chinook stocks while protecting natural coho populations.

North of Cape Falcon, there is an overall non-Indian total allowable catch of 90,000 Chinook coastwide (compared to 70,000 last year) and 42,000 marked hatchery coho in (compared to 18,900 last year).

Recreational Fisheries          

The recreational fishery north of Cape Falcon does not include a mark-selective Chinook season this year, but opens to all salmon on June 24 in most areas (July 1in Westport) and ends September 4 or when Chinook or coho quotas are reached. Recreational fisheries in all port areas will have access to 45,000 Chinook (compared to 35,000 Chinook last year), and a marked coho quota of 42,000 (compared to 18,900 last year). For details, please see the season descriptions on the Council website at www.pcouncil.org.

Commercial Fisheries

Tribal and non-Indian ocean commercial fisheries are designed to provide harvest opportunity on strong Chinook returns primarily destined for the Columbia River while avoiding coho stocks of concern. Coho retention is allowed in commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon this year, which is an improvement over the non-retention regulations from last year; however, the coho quotas are very low in 2017.

Non-Indian ocean commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon include traditional, but reduced, Chinook seasons in the spring (May-June) and summer season (intermittent openings during July through September). The Chinook quota of 27,000 in the spring is greater than the 2016 quota of 19,100.  The summer season quotas include 18,000 Chinook and 5,600 coho.

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon are similar in structure to past years, with quotas that include 40,000 Chinook and 12,500 coho.

California and Oregon South of Cape Falcon, Oregon

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon (in northern Oregon) are limited by the need to protect Klamath River fall Chinook, and south of Point Arena (in northern California), they are also affected by the need to protect Sacramento River winter Chinook. Returns of spawning Klamath River fall Chinook are projected to be the lowest on record in 2017 due to drought, disease, poor ocean conditions, and other issues.  At the same time, the Council must protect Sacramento River winter Chinook, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Because both of these fish intermix with other stocks in the ocean, fisheries targeting more abundant stocks must be constrained.

Recreational Fisheries

Recreational fisheries off the central Oregon coast will allow Chinook retention from March 15 through October 31. Coho fisheries consist of a mark-selective quota fishery of 18,000 in mid-summer (compared to 26,000 last year) and a non-mark-selective quota fishery of 6,000 in September (compared to 7,500 last year), both open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.

The Brookings/Crescent City/Eureka areas are closed for the entire season to conserve Klamath River fall Chinook, which are most abundant in these areas.  Fisheries further south all opened on April 1. In the Fort Bragg area, the season will close during June, July, and half of August, then reopen through November 12.  In the San Francisco area, the season will close during the first half of May and reopen through October 31.  Salmon fishing will remain open through July 15 in the Monterey Bay area and through May 31 for areas south of Monterey Bay.

Commercial Fisheries

Commercial fisheries from Cape Falcon to the Florence South Jetty, Oregon open on April 15 and will run through July 31 with intermittent closures to reduce impacts on Klamath fall Chinook. This area will also be open in September and October. Fisheries from the Florence South Jetty to Horse Mountain, California will be closed for the entire season to reduce impacts on Klamath River fall Chinook.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (in the Fort Bragg area), there will be a 3,000 Chinook quota ocean fishery during the month of September, after 2017 Klamath River fall Chinook spawners have entered the Klamath River.

In the area from Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco), the season will be open for most of August and all of September. From Pigeon Point to the Mexico border (Monterey), the Chinook season will be open in May and June. There will also be a season from Point Reyes to Point San Pedro (subset of the San Francisco area), open October 2 to 6 and October 9 to 13.

Management Process

The Council developed the management measures after several weeks spent reviewing three season alternatives. The review process included input by Federal state, and tribal fishery scientists and fishing industry members; public testimony, and three public hearings in coastal communities. The Council received additional scientific information and took public testimony at its April Council meeting before taking final action. The decision will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval and implementation.

In addition, the coastal states will decide on compatible state waters  fishery regulations at their respective Commission hearings.

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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Other links:

Description of 2017 salmon management process: http://www.pcouncil.org/salmon/current-season-management

Fact sheets:

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PRELIMINARY APRIL 2017 DRAFT MOTIONS IN WRITING

Friday, April 7th, 2017

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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Quick Link to April 2017 Briefing Book

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

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April 2017 Council Meeting Internet Live Stream

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

The April 2017 Council meeting will be live‐streamed on the internet during the following hours:

  • Friday, April 7, 2017: beginning at approximately 9:00 AM Pacific Time, ending at approximately 6:00 PM PT or when business for the day is complete
  • Saturday, April 8, 2017 through Tuesday, April 11, 2017: 8:00 AM Pacific Time, ending daily at approximately 6:00 PM PT or when business for the day is complete

Only the audio portion and presentations displayed on the screen at the Council meeting will be broadcast. The audio portion is listen‐only; you will be unable to speak to the Council via the broadcast.

For agenda item topics, please see the April 2017 meeting agenda.

Please Note: The GotoMeeting broadcast is not a substitute for attending the Council meeting in-person. We strive to make this service fully available, but due to unforeseen technical issues (internet/power outages, GoToMeeting service issues, etc), this service may not be available during portions of the Council meeting.

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode

Join the meeting in “listen-only” mode by visiting this link:

  1. http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID – The April 2017 Webinar ID is: 897-986-459
  3. Please enter your email address (required)

This is a “listen only” broadcast, you may use your computer speakers or headset to listen.

If you do not have a headset or computer speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-562-247-8422 (not a toll-free number); enter the phone attendee audio access code: 862-846-290; then enter the Audio Pin: Shown after joining the webinar. The webinar is broadcast in “listen only” mode.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet (See the GoToMeeting Webinar Apps)

You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt for technical assistance.

MP3 Audio Files

Approximately five business days after the meeting has ended, you may visit the “Past Meetings” webpage where you will find links to the MP3 and WAV files.

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Quick Link to April 2017 Council Meeting Agenda and Information

Monday, March 27th, 2017

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April 2017 Council Meeting Fast Facts

Monday, March 27th, 2017

The April 6-11, 2017 Council Meeting “Fast Facts” are available. Fast Facts are answers to FAQs that can help you get oriented for the upcoming meeting (transportation, internet code, hotel map).

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April 2017 Briefing Book Available Online

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Notice of Availability

The Briefing Book for the April 2017 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “April 2017 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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Salmon Preseason Report II, Including Public Hearing Schedule Available on Council’s Website

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Preseason Report II:  Proposed Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations

The document Preseason Report II: Proposed Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations; Regulation Identifier Number 0648-BG59 has been posted to the Council’s website. Please visit the 2017 Preseason Report II webpage to view and download the document.

Public Comment Opportunities on the Proposed Management Alternatives

The Council solicits public comments on the proposed management Alternatives in preparation for adopting final management recommendations at its April meeting. Oral and written comments on the proposed management Alternatives may be presented at the public hearings.   All public hearings begin at 7 p.m. on the dates and at the locations specified below:

Monday, March 27, 2017; 7:00 PM
Chateau Westport
Beach Room
710 W Hancock
Westport, WA 98595
360-268-9101
Driving Directions

Monday, March 27, 2017; 7:00 PM
Red Lion Hotel
South Umpqua Room
1313 N Bayshore Drive
Coos Bay, OR 97420
541-267-4141
Driving Directions

Tuesday, March 28, 2017; 7:00 PM
City of Fort Bragg
Town Hall
363 S. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
707-961-2823
Driving Directions

Additional comment will be accepted during the April Council meeting. Written comments received at the Council office BY 5:00 pm, Thursday, March 30, 2017 will be copied and distributed to all Council members.

For further information regarding the salmon management documents or the hearings, please contact: Ms. Robin Ehlke at 503-820-2410 or toll free 1-866-806-7204.

 

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March 2017 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met March 8-13, 2017 in Vancouver, WA, USA. The March 2017 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document contains the highlights of significant decisions made at that meeting. Results of agenda items that do not reach a level of highlight significance are typically not described in the Decision Summary Document.

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Pacific Fishery Management Council Chooses Options for 2017 Salmon Season

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Vancouver, Washington – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today adopted three public review alternatives for the 2017 salmon seasons off the West Coast of the United States. The Council will select a final alternative at their next meeting in Sacramento, California on April 6-11. 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/salmon2017.

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon (in northern Oregon) are limited by the need to protect Klamath River fall Chinook, and south of Point Arena (in northern California), they are also affected by the need to protect Sacramento River winter Chinook. Returns of spawning Klamath River fall Chinook are projected to be the lowest on record in 2017 due to drought, disease, poor ocean conditions, and other issues. At the same time, the Council must protect Sacramento winter-run Chinook, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Because both of these fish intermix with other stocks in the ocean, fisheries targeting more abundant stocks must be constrained.

“The salmon runs this year will present a challenge for ocean fishermen and managers throughout the West Coast,” said Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “In the north, several coho runs will keep ocean quotas lower than normal. In the south, the low forecast for Klamath River fall Chinook is unprecedented, and the most restrictive alternative the Council will consider allows no ocean fishing between Cape Falcon, Oregon and the U.S./Mexico border after April 30 this year.”

“This year will be an exceptionally difficult year for ocean salmon fisheries, especially in Oregon and California. However, there are alternatives that may provide at least limited opportunity for both commercial and recreational ocean salmon fishing along much of the coast,” said Council 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. One alternative includes a mark-selective Chinook fishery in June, while all alternatives include Chinook fishing opportunity in June or July-September, which are not mark-selective. Chinook recreational quotas range from 40,000 to 54,500. For coho, two alternatives allow modest coastwide opportunity. One allows opportunity for 58,800 hatchery coho in late June through September; the other allows opportunity for 50,400 hatchery coho in late June through September. A third alternative permits limited coho fishing only in the Columbia River area between Cape Falcon and Leadbetter Point, with a coho quota of 18,900 hatchery coho that starts  in July and runs into September.

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 40,000 to 50,000, compared to 35,000 in 2016. Two commercial fishery alternatives allow retention of coho, with quotas of 5,600 and 9,600 marked coho (compared to only one alternative in 2016 with a quota of 7,200 marked coho). A third alternative prohibits coho retention in the commercial fishery.

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon

Chinook and coho quotas for tribal ocean fishery alternatives range from 30,000 to 50,000 for Chinook salmon, and from 12,500 to 40,000 for coho. Seasons open May 1 and run through September 15.

 California and southern Oregon (south of Cape Falcon) 

Sport season options

From the north, recreational season alternatives south of Cape Falcon are heavily constrained this year to protect 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 running through July or into early August in the area between Cape Falcon and the Oregon/California border. Quotas range from 20,000 to 30,000 marked coho. In addition, a non-mark-selective fishery is proposed for the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. in September, with a quota of 10,000 coho.

Due to the poor status of Klamath River fall Chinook, none of the alternatives provide for Chinook–directed fisheries in the Klamath Management Zone, which extends from Humbug Mt., Oregon to Horse Mt., California. One alternative does include a mark-selective coho fishery in the Oregon portion of the Klamath Management Zone and extending north to Cape Falcon.

California ocean sport fishing alternatives for areas south of Horse Mountain provide seasons that are fairly conservative in comparison to recent years to protect Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River winter Chinook. These protective measures include shortened seasons and mid-season closures.

Commercial season options

As with recreational seasons, commercial season alternatives south of Cape Falcon are heavily constrained this year to protect Klamath River fall Chinook. Chinook salmon seasons under Alternative 1 include an opening in the Tillamook and Newport areas from mid-April through October, with several closed periods.

In Alternative 2, the Tillamook, Newport and Coos Bay area seasons would be open most days beginning in mid-April through early June and two days in August. Under Alternative 3, commercial salmon fishing would be closed in these areas.

As in the sport fishery, commercial salmon fishing is not allowed in the Klamath Management Zone in any of the alternatives to protect Klamath River fall Chinook.

Commercial season alternatives south of the Klamath Management Zone are also heavily constrained this year to protect Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River winter Chinook. In the Fort Bragg management area (Horse Mt. to Pt. Arena), two of the alternatives are completely closed, and the third only provides for a September fishery. There is more opportunity south of Pt. Arena, but seasons are still constrained compared to recent years. Two of the alternatives include August-October fisheries in the San Francisco management area (Pt. Arena to Pigeon Pt.) and May-June fisheries in the Monterey management area (Pigeon Pt. to the U.S./Mexico border), but the third alternative has these areas closed for the whole season.

Management Process

Public hearings to receive input on the alternatives are scheduled for March 27 in Westport, Washington and Coos Bay, Oregon; and for March 28 in Fort Bragg, California. The Council will consult with scientists, hear public comment, revise preliminary decisions and choose a final alternative at its meeting April 6-11 in Sacramento, California.

The Council will forward its final season recommendations to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for its approval and implementation by 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.

On the Web

Draft Alternatives for 2017 salmon management:  http://tinyurl.com/salmon2017

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

Description of 2017 salmon management process: http://www.pcouncil.org/salmon/current-season-management/

Fact sheet: Salmon: http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Salmon-Oct-2015.pdf ·

Fact sheet: Common Terms Used in Salmon Management: http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Common-salmon-terms-Oct-2015.pdf 

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