Archive for April, 2012

HMSMT Meeting Agenda, April 30-May 2, 2012

Monday, April 30th, 2012

View Highly Migratory Species Management Team meeting agenda in Google Docs


Council Staff Report on H.R. 1837

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

In response to a formal Congressional request, the Council has forwarded a Council staff report titled “A General Review of Potential Effects of H.R. 1837 the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, on Central Valley Salmon Productivity and Salmon Fisheries In Ocean and Inland Waters” to U.S. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. H.R.1837 addresses water use in California’s Central Valley Project, makes changes to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act, and repeals the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act.

In her July 5, 2011 letter to Council Executive Director, Dr. Donald McIsaac, Congresswoman Napolitano acknowledged the economic impacts of the 2008 and 2009 fishery closures enacted by the Council in response to the collapse of Sacramento River fall Chinook stocks and specifically requested Council comments on H.R. 1837’s impacts to salmon populations, habitat, fisheries management, and fishermen. The Pacific Council remains concerned about negative effects of H.R. 1837 might have on salmon stocks and their habitat, and the consequent negative economic effects on communities that depend on a healthy, vibrant salmon fishery.

For further information, please contact Mr. Mike Burner, Council Staff at 503-820-2280 or toll free 1-866-806-7204 ext. 414.


Methodology Review Panel Meeting to Consider West Coast Vancouver Island Trawl Survey for Potential Use in U.S. Pacific Sardine Stock Assessments

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will convene a Methodology Review Panel meeting, Tuesday, May 29 – Thursday, May 31, 2012, in La Jolla, California. The meeting is open to the public.

The purpose of the Methodology Review Panel meeting is to consider the design of the West Coast Vancouver Island trawl survey, the data collected from the survey, the methods used to analyze the collected data, the utility of the data for use in stock assessment models for Pacific sardine, and the potential to use of the collected data to monitor trends at the population level.

The meeting will begin Tuesday, May 29, at 8:30 a.m., and at 8:00 a.m. on each subsequent day. The meeting will conclude each day at 5:00 p.m. or until business for each day is completed.

The meeting will be held at the following location:

National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Torrey Pines Campus
Large Conference Room
3333 North Torrey Pines Court
La Jolla, CA 92037-1023
Phone: 858-546-7000

Driving Directions

The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Dale Sweetnam at 858-546-7170, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information, please contact Mr. Kerry Griffin at (503) 820-2280 ext. 409.


Ad Hoc South of Humbug Pacific Halibut Work Group Appointments

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The Council established an ad hoc South of Humbug Pacific Halibut Workgroup in response to recent unusually high harvests of Pacific halibut off Southern Oregon and Northern California. The Workgroup will help develop an understanding of the biological, abundance assessment, and allocation issues involved in the management of this area. The workgroup is to be comprised of representatives from each state, the International Pacific Halibut Commission, NMFS Northwest Region, and Council staff. Those members have now been appointed by the Council Chairman as follows:

Representative Organization
Ms. Heather Reed Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Ms. Lynn Mattes Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Ms. Deb Wilson-Vandenberg California Department of Fish and Game
Ms. Sarah Williams National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Region
Mr. Gregg Williams International Pacific Halibut Commission
Mr. Chuck Tracy PFMC Staff

April 2004 Council Meeting

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

April 2004 Council Decisions

April 2004 Meeting Minutes

April 2004 Voting Log

April 2004 Briefing Book


March 2004 Council Meeting

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

March 2004 Council Decisions

March 2004 Meeting Minutes

March 2004 Voting Log

March 2004 Briefing Book


NOAA OLE Releases Final Enforcement Priorities 2012

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement has released their national and division enforcement priorities for fiscal year 2012. The document represents input from many interested people across the country: commercial and recreational fishermen, fishery management councils,
state enforcement partners, and nongovernmental organizations. Please visit the NOAA OLE Enforcement Priorities Document 2012 website to download the document.


Salmon Preseason Report III Available

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Preseason Report III Council Adopted Management Measures and Environmental Assessment Part 3 for 2012 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations, published April 2012, is available on the Council’s website. Visit the Preseason Report III webpage.


April 2012 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document Available

Monday, April 9th, 2012

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met April 1-6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The April 2012 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.


Council Adopts Substantial Salmon Seasons Coastwide

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

SEATTLE, Wa. – The Pacific Fishery Management Council today adopted a set of ocean salmon seasons that provides both recreational and commercial opportunities coastwide. California and Oregon fishermen, in particular, will be benefit from higher-than‐usual salmon returns in the Sacramento and Klamath Rivers this year. The recommendation will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2012.

“Everyone is pleased to see such a strong abundance of the major Sacramento River and Klamath River work‐horse stocks,” said Council Chairman Dan Wolford. “After achieving all the conservation goals for weak stocks in 2012, both recreational and commercial ocean salmon fishermen should enjoy a good season this summer.”

California and Oregon South of Cape Falcon, Oregon

The largest number of returning Sacramento River fall Chinook since 2005 will fuel ocean salmon fisheries off California and Oregon. Fisheries south of Cape Falcon, in northern Oregon, are supported by Sacramento River fall Chinook. In 2008 and 2009, poor Sacramento returns led to the largest ocean salmon fishery closure on record. The abundance forecast of Sacramento River fall Chinook in 2012 is 819,400, far above the number needed for optimum spawning this fall (122,000‐180,000 fish). The Klamath River fall Chinook forecast for 2012 is about four times greater than average and the highest forecast on record since 1985.

The Oregon Coast natural coho forecast in 2012 is about 290,000, the largest forecast since at least 1996.

Recreational Fisheries

Recreational fisheries in southern Oregon and California are for Chinook only and run from May 1 through September 9 in the Brookings/Eureka/Crescent City area, and from April 7 to at least October 7 in areas further south. The minimum size limit will be 24 inches in the San Francisco and Monterey areas from April 7 to July 5, but otherwise 20 inches in California.

Recreational fisheries off the central Oregon coast will allow Chinook retention and run from March 15 through October 31. Coho fisheries consist of a mark‐selective coho quota fishery in July (open from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border), and a non‐mark selective coho quota fishery in September, open from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.

Commercial Fisheries

Commercial fisheries from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, Oregon will be open from April 1 through August 29 and September 5 through October 31. Fisheries in the Humbug Mountain to California border area will be open in May, June, July, August, and September, with Chinook quotas in June (2,000), July (1,500), August (1,000), and September (1,000). Fisheries from the California border to Humboldt South Jetty will be open September 15‐30 with a 6,000 Chinook quota.

Between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (in the Fort Bragg area), commercial Chinook salmon fisheries will be open July 11 through August 29 and September 1 to 30, seven days per week.

In the area from Point Arena to Point Sur (San Francisco), the season will be open May 1 to June 4, June 27 to August 29, and September 1 to 30. From Point Sur to the Mexico border, the Chinook season will be open May 1 to August 29 and September 1 to 30. There will also be a season from Point Reyes to Point San Pedro, open October 1 to 5 and 8 to 12.

Washington and Northern Oregon (North of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries north of Cape Falcon (near Nehalem in northern Oregon) depend largely on Columbia River stocks. Columbia River fall Chinook returns in 2011 were above average, and 2012 forecasts are similar. Columbia River hatchery coho returns are below average and less than 2011 returns, but Washington coastal and Puget Sound stocks are mostly above average. North of Cape Falcon, there is an overall non‐Indian total allowable catch of 99,000 Chinook and 83,000 marked hatchery coho.

Recreational Fisheries

A mark‐selective Chinook season north of Cape Falcon begins June 9 off the Columbia River and Westport, and June 16 off La Push and Neah Bay. This fishery ends June 22 off the Columbia River, June 23 off Westport, and June 30 off La Push and Neah Bay, or when 8,000 marked Chinook are caught in all port‐areas combined. The Chinook season will be open seven days per week, two fish per day, with a 24‐inch total length minimum size limit.

All salmon seasons are divided into four port‐areas. Seasons begin June 23 off the Columbia River, June 23 off Westport and July 1 off La Push and Neah Bay. These fisheries end September 30 off the Columbia River and September 23 off Westport, La Push, and Neah Bay, or when Chinook or coho quotas are reached. The preseason coho quota for all port‐areas combined is 69,720. For details, please see the season descriptions on the Council website at

Commercial Fisheries

Non‐Indian ocean commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon include traditional Chinook seasons in the May‐June timeframe and all‐salmon seasons in the July‐to‐September timeframe. The Chinook quotas of 31,700 in May‐June and 15,800 in the all-species fisheries are about 50 percent higher than the 2011 quotas. The coho quota of 13,280 is similar to 2011’s quota of 12,800. Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon are similar to recent years, although Chinook quotas are higher than in 2011.


The Council developed the management measures after several weeks spent reviewing three season alternatives. The review process included input by Federal and state 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 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 freshwater 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 miles offshore of the U.S. coastline. The Pacific Council recommends management measures for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.


For more information