[env-trinity] Breaking News: DFG Will Open Ocean Recreational Fishing Season April 1

Dan Bacher danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Thu Mar 16 08:05:38 PST 2006

Good Morning

I was at the Legislative Forum at the State Capitol yesterday when I  
got this news from DFG Director Ryan Broddrick and Deputy Director  
Sonke Mastrup. The ocean salmon season from Point Arena to Point Sur  
will open as planned in state waters - 3 miles and less - on April 1.  
However, fishing in federal waters - beyond the 3 mile line - will  
remain closed.

Please forward this to get the word out. Broddrick and Mastrup said  
the state's regulatory process prohibits the state from enforcing the  
closure requested by the Bush administration in state water waters on  
April 1 because the opener is already in state regulations booklets  
and any change has to go through the California Fish and Game  
Commission and then the State Office of Administrative Law. The  
Commission doesn't meet until April 6-7 - both days when the PFMC is  
meeting. The PFMC is planning to make a final recommendation on  
salmon options on April 7, probably after the Commission meeting is  
already over.

News Release:  For Immediate Release Mar. 15, 2006

DFG Will Open Ocean Recreational Fishing Season April 1
Pacific Fisheries Management Council Decision Enacts Limitations

Contacts: Scott Barrow, DFG Senior Biologist, (916) 651-7670;
Steve Martarano, DFG Office of Communications, (916) 654-5866

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will open the  
state’s recreational fishery between Point Arena and Point Sur as  
scheduled on April 1. However, a recent decision by the Ocean Pacific  
Fishery Management Council (PFMC) closed the state’s commercial  
salmon fisheries and also limits the recreational season. The PFMC is  
scheduled to make final recommendations that could impose further  
restrictions April 3-7 during federal meetings in Sacramento.

“The bottom line is we need to ensure healthy stocks in the future,”  
said DFG Director Ryan Broddrick. “Returns over the past three years  
have shown low numbers of naturally spawning Klamath River Chinook  

Following the PFMC federal action March 10, California’s commercial  
fishing regulations will automatically conform, closing the state’s  
commercial salmon fishery. The PFMC also closed the sport fishery in  
federal waters between Point Arena (below Fort Bragg) and Point Sur  
(south of Monterey), however, because the PFMC is not set to make the  
final recommendations until the federal meetings, California’s sport  
fishery in state waters (shore to three miles) will open as scheduled  
April 1.

The PFMC decision is subject to action by the California Fish and  
Game Commission, whose jurisdiction covers the sport salmon fishery  
in state waters. The Commission may consider an in-season emergency  
closing of the Central California sport fisheries to conform with  
federal action during its upcoming meeting April 7 in Monterey.

The PFMC rulings were based on updated spawning numbers, and are  
intended to limit any further impacts to Klamath fall Chinook salmon  
off the entire West Coast.

Other details of note:


For Northern California, the recreational salmon fishery between  
Horse Mountain (above Shelter Cove) and Point Arena, which opened in  
February, will remain open in federal and state waters.
In Southern California, the recreational salmon fishery below Point  
Sur will open on April 1 in federal and state waters.

California’s commercial fishery was previously scheduled to open for  
the season on March 15.
The emergency closure of the commercial fishery is in effect for all  
ocean waters from Point Sur north to the California-Oregon border,  
and includes more than 1,500 commercial boats (trollers) permitted  
through the DFG. This fishery will remain closed until further in- 
season review and notice by the PFMC.
The National Marine Fishery Service is considering federal disaster  
relief funding for West Coast salmon-related fishing businesses  
impacted by the commercial closures. California’s salmon resource  
(commercial and sport) is valued between $44 million (PFMC estimate)  
and $150 million (industry estimate).
Alternatives to allow commercial and recreational fishing for healthy  
Central Valley stocks that demonstrate no impact to Klamath stocks  
may be considered by the PFMC as well as by the Fish and Game  
Commission at their upcoming meetings, said Scott Barrow, a DFG  
senior biologist.

Public comments concerning both California’s commercial and  
recreational salmon fisheries will be accepted at a public hearing  
scheduled for March 28 at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. The PFMC  
will also accept public comments for the 2006 season at its April 3-7  
meeting at the Doubletree Hotel in Sacramento.

“In summary at this point, state and federal waters are closed to  
commercial fishing; sport fishing is closed in federal waters between  
Point Arena and Point Sur; and the state waters between Point Arena  
and Point Sur will open on April 1 while the Commission considers  
options during its upcoming meeting in Monterey,” Barrow said. “The  
sport fishing in federal and state waters for the Fort Bragg area  
will remain open and below Point Sur will open on April 1.”

For additional information on the PFMC ruling and up-coming meetings,  
log on to www.pcouncil.org or call the Ocean Salmon Hotline at  
1-800-662-9825. To obtain a copy of the PFMC press release on the  
closures and other emergency regulations affecting the West Coast,  
log on to www.pcouncil.org/newsreleases/pr031306_sal.pdf.

For information on California’s salmon fisheries in state waters, log  
on to www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/oceansalmon.html#recreational or call the  
Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

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