Hot topics blog

Public Comment E-Portal for the April 2019 Advanced Briefing Book is now open!

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

The Public Comment E-Portal for the April 2019 Advanced Briefing Book is now open.  Visit the E-portal to submit your written comment. Due to recent revisions to the April Council meeting agenda, the deadline for the Advanced Briefing Book has been extended to Tuesday, March 19th, by 5 p.m.  All comments submitted by the deadline will be reviewed and posted to the E-Portal page on March 22nd, 2019.

Visit our Current Council Meeting page for more details.


Council Releases Alternatives for 2019 West Coast Ocean Salmon Fisheries

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Vancouver, Washington – The Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted three alternative season structures for 2019 ocean salmon fisheries off of Washington, Oregon and California today for public review. The Council will make a final decision on salmon seasons at its meeting in Rohnert Park, California, on April 11-15. Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three alternatives are available on the Council’s website at

“Although some forecasts are up over last year, this year’s salmon runs are still challenging for ocean fishermen and managers,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “In the north, conservation requirements for Fraser River (Canada) and other natural coho runs, as well as lower Columbia River natural tule fall Chinook, will constrain fisheries*. In the south, we need to protect Sacramento River fall and winter Chinook, as well as California Coastal Chinook.”

Northern Oregon and Washington (north of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries north of Cape Falcon (in northern Oregon) are limited by the need to reduce catch of lower Columbia natural tule Chinook and coho stocks of concern. Additionally, three stocks of coho (Queets River, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Snohomish) remain categorized as overfished, which is also a concern when structuring 2019 fisheries.

Sport season alternatives

Ocean sport fishery alternatives north of Cape Falcon in Oregon and off the Washington coast include Chinook recreational quotas ranging from 22,500 to 32,500, compared to 27,500 in 2018. For coho, recreational quotas range from 100,000 to 205,000 hatchery coho, an increase from 2018. Starting dates range from June 15 to June 29, and in all alternatives, recreational fisheries are scheduled to run through mid-to-late September. Both coho and Chinook retention are allowed in all alternatives.

Commercial season alternatives

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 22,500 to 32,500, compared to 27,500 in 2018. Coho quotas in the commercial fishery alternatives range from 5,600 to 32,800 marked coho, compared to 5,600 in to 2018.

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon

Chinook and coho quotas for tribal ocean fishery alternatives range from 25,000 to 45,000 for Chinook salmon (compared to 40,000 in 2018), and from 35,000 to 65,000 coho (compared to 12,500 coho in 2018). Seasons open May 1 and run through September 15.

California and Southern Oregon (south of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon are limited by the need to reduce catch of Oregon Coast natural coho, California coastal Chinook, Sacramento River fall Chinook, and Sacramento River winter Chinook. Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River fall Chinook contribute significantly to ocean harvest, and currently remain categorized as overfished. Both stocks are projected to meet their spawning escapement objectives under this year’s management alternatives.

Sport season alternatives

Chinook fishing in the Tillamook, Newport, and Coos Bay areas all open March 15 and run continuously through October 31.

Oregon ocean recreational alternatives include mark-selective coho fishing seasons starting in late June and running through mid-August or September in the area south of Cape Falcon. Quotas range from 80,000 to 105,000 marked coho (compared to 35,000 in 2018). In addition, non-mark-selective fisheries are proposed for the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain in September, with quotas of 8,000 to 10,000 coho (compared to last year’s 3,500).

All alternatives include proposed fisheries from late May through late August/early September in the Klamath Management Zone in both California and Oregon.

Ocean sport fishing below Horse Mountain, California will see increased opportunity compared to last year due to some improved forecasts. Alternatives for 2019 fisheries were structured to target spawning escapements in excess of what is required under the Salmon Fishery Management Plan in an effort to rebuild Sacramento River and Klamath River fall Chinook.

Commercial season alternatives

Commercial season alternatives south of Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain are constrained this year to protect Sacramento and California coastal Chinook. Chinook salmon seasons are open late April or May through October, with closed periods in May through August.

The commercial alternatives in both the California and Oregon sectors of the Klamath Management Zone are provided primarily by a range of monthly Chinook quotas between June and August, with some additional time for the Oregon sector in May.

The alternatives for commercial seasons south of the Klamath Management Zone vary considerably, with constraints primarily intended to protect Sacramento River fall Chinook and California Coastal Chinook. In general, the commercial alternatives in these management areas (Fort Bragg, San Francisco, and Monterey) provide similar or increased levels of opportunity compared to last year.

Concerns Regarding Southern Resident Killer Whales 

At the Vancouver meeting, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced plans to look further into the effects of Council-area fisheries on southern resident killer whales, which are listed as endangered. The Council will work collaboratively with NMFS on this issue beginning in 2019.

Council Chair Phil Anderson, who also serves on the Governor’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, said, “I don’t think there’s any question that southern resident killer whales are in peril. Pollution, noise disturbance, and lack of prey are the main factors believed to be responsible for the decline. It will be important for the Pacific Council to understand the impacts of the prey base associated with their needs when they consider seasons in April. We would like to discuss these issues with NOAA before we make our final recommendations.”

Management Process

Public hearings to receive input on the alternatives are scheduled for March 25 in Westport, Washington and Coos Bay, Oregon, and for March 26 in Ukiah, California. The Council will consult with scientists, hear public comment, revise preliminary decisions, and choose a final alternative at its meeting April 11-15 in Rohnert Park, California.

The Council will forward its final season recommendations to National Marine Fisheries Service 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


April 9-16, 2019 Council Meeting Information

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

April 9-16, 2019 Council Meeting Information

The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory bodies will meet April 9-16, 2019 in Rohnert Park, California, at the following location:

DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma
One Doubletree Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Phone: 707-584-5466

Briefing Book (meeting materials)

Download the Agenda and meeting Notice

Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines (E-Portal)

Visit the April 2019 Council Meeting E-portal to submit your written comment. Select the agenda item you are interested in commenting on and either enter your comments in the text box, or upload a file containing your comments in .pdf format. You will be limited to one comment per agenda item in advance of the initial advanced briefing book public comment deadline which is Tuesday, March 19th, 5:00 pm, Pacific Time.

You will then be allowed one more comment opportunity between 5:01 p.m., March 19 and the supplemental public comment deadline (5:00 p.m., Monday, April 1, 2019), which will allow you to review the advanced briefing materials scheduled to be posted to the Council website no later than Friday, March 22, 2019 (afternoon).

If you have additional questions regarding the Pacific Fishery Management Council E-Portal for Public Comment:

Public Comment Guidelines “After the Supplemental Deadline”

Written comments after the supplemental comment period will only be accepted at the Council meeting and must be in support of oral testimony. In order to be available to the Council during an agenda item, written comments must be brought to the Secretariat no later than 5 pm the day before the corresponding agenda item is scheduled on the Council’s agenda.

Comments received by 5 pm will be uploaded by staff to the Council’s E-Portal shortly thereafter. Any written comments received after that time will be uploaded the following day after 5 pm.

The public should be aware that the Council and it’s advisory bodies may not have time to thoroughly review written comments submitted at the meeting. The Council will not pay for comments transmitted to the meeting hotel. Comments submitted that are not in support of oral testimony will need to be resubmitted during an open comment period for a future Council meeting.

How to Submit PowerPoint Presentations or Videos

If your comments contain a PowerPoint presentation or video, such PowerPoints and videos need to be turned in no later than 5 pm the day before the corresponding agenda item is scheduled on the Council’s agenda. PowerPoints and videos must be sent to: Please see the Protocol Policy on submitting electronic slide presentation materials at the Council meetings for full direction, expectations, and equipment available for use during presentations.



Friday, March 8th, 2019

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.


Quick Link to March 2019 Briefing Book

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019


March 2019 Council Meeting Internet Live Stream

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

The March 2019 Council meeting will be live‐streamed on the internet during the following hours:

  • Thursday, March 7, 2019: beginning at approximately 9:00 AM Pacific Time, ending at approximately 6:00 PM PT or when business for the day is complete
  • Friday, March 8, 2019 through Tuesday, March 12, 2019: 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 and meeting information, please see the March 6-12, 2019 Council meeting webpage.

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.

Instructions to join the meeting in “listen-only” mode

  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 634-645-459
  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 to listen to the meeting by dialing this TOLL number +1 (562) 247-8422 (not a toll-free number); enter the phone attendee audio access code: 532-691-006; 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, 8, 10, 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.


March 6-12, 2019 PFMC Meeting Fast Facts

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

The March 6-12, 2019 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting “Fast Facts” are available. Fast Facts are answers to FAQs that can help you get oriented for the upcoming meeting (transportation options, internet code, hotel map).

March 2019 Council Meeting Fast Facts

If you have additional questions regarding the March 6-12, 2019 Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting:


March 2019 Briefing Book available online

Friday, February 15th, 2019

The Briefing Book for the March 6-12, 2019  Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “March 2019 Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains the meeting agenda, “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.

For further information:


March 2019 E-Portal for Public Comments is now open

Friday, January 25th, 2019

The Public Comment E-Portal for the March Advanced Briefing Book is now open.  Visit the E-portal to submit your written comment. The deadline for the Advanced Briefing Book is February 7th, by 5pm.  All comments submitted by the deadline will be reviewed and posted to the E-Portal page on February 15, 2019.

Visit our Current Council Meeting page for more details.


Feb 6-7, 2019 NMFS North Pacific Albacore MSE Mtg CANCELLED

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Due to the partial shutdown of the federal government, National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Region is cancelling the February 6-7, 2019 meeting, to solicit public input on preliminary results of the North Pacific albacore Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) conducted by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific. Once the partial shutdown is over, NMFS will announce any arrangements to reschedule the meeting.