Opening of recreational salmon fishing at sea on April 2

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The California recreational salmon fishery will open April 2 in ocean waters from Point Arena (38°57’30” N. lat) south to the US-Mexico border, with a minimum size limit of 24 inches. Openings for North Point Arena will be determined in mid-April.

Ocean abundance forecasts have increased from the previous year for Sacramento River fall chinook and Klamath River fall chinook, California’s two main target stocks. However, fisheries managers have recommended that the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) adopt a more cautious approach for the 2022 ocean salmon seasons. Fisheries have performed better than expected in recent years, raising concerns concerns for sensitive and non-target salmon stocks, and fewer fish returned to rivers to spawn than expected. These concerns, along with the continued threat of drought and the continued overfishing status of the Klamath River fall chinook since 2018, prompted the PFMC to approve additional fishing restrictions in 2022.

“The 2022 fishing season will be a mix of good news and bad news,” said Grace Easterbrook, environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). “For recreational anglers wishing to fish for salmon off the central coast, there will be ample opportunity if the fish show up. However, fishing seasons in the north will be more limited due to the continued low abundance of chinook. fall of the Klamath River.

The PFMC approved three fishing season alternatives for public review on Monday, March 14 at its meeting in San Jose and will continue to accept public comment before finalizing the recreational and commercial seasons next month. Alternatives are available on the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org. A public hearing is scheduled for March 22, where the public is invited to comment on the PFMC’s season proposals. Final season dates will be decided at the April 6-13 meeting in Seattle, Washington. Details on how to attend the public hearing and the PFMC meeting, as well as instructions for providing public comments, can also be found on the PFMC website.

Anglers are advised to check for updated information when planning a salmon fishing trip. Season dates, catch/possession limit information, and gear restrictions are available on the CDFW Ocean Salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or by calling the Ocean Salmon Regulations hotline at (707) 576-3429. Public notification of any in-season changes to comply with state or federal regulations is made through the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Hotline at (800) 662-9825.

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