[env-trinity] NOOA Press Release Salmon Season

Byron bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Apr 28 19:00:58 PDT 2006


Contacts: Jeff Donald

202-482-4640 April 28, 2006


Todd Ungerecht



National Marine Fisheries Service Accepts Pacific Council's Salmon


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service
(NOAA Fisheries) today announced that it was approving an emergency rule to
allow some limited salmon fishing along the Oregon and California coasts.


These new regulations will allow the ocean salmon fishery to open as
scheduled on May 1. They mirror the recommendations made earlier this month
by the Pacific Fishery Management Council in an effort to protect dwindling
numbers of Chinook salmon returning to the Klamath River to spawn.


The Pacific Council's Salmon Fishery Management Plan requires the Council
and NOAA Fisheries to maintain long term productivity of the salmon stocks.
The existing plan requires a fishery closure if the number of returning
Klamath River fall Chinook falls below 35,000. NOAA scientists had predicted
only 25,000 will return this year.


After reviewing the data and in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries, the
states, tribes and fishermen, the Council determined that conditions this
year allowed for the plan to be temporarily be set at 21,000 without
compromising the long-term productivity of the stock.  The Council set the
reduced number based on scientific models and numerous risk assessment


"NOAA Fisheries commends the Council for developing scientifically- sound
recommendations to preserve salmon, while also allowing limited
recreational, tribal, and commercial salmon harvest opportunities for
fishermen in this difficult year," said William T. Hogarth, Assistant
Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "This decision is important to our efforts
to help rebuild and improve conditions for Klamath Chinook salmon for the


"The Council process that led to this solution involved state, private, and
federal interests, and they reached agreement on the science, and they
respected tribal rights," said Hogarth. "This is a powerful way to solve
resource problems, and we hope to build upon this collaboration as we move
forward in addressing issues in the Klamath."


NOAA Fisheries approval of the Council-adopted fishing regime will result in
an estimated 21,000 natural adult salmon spawners in the Klamath River after
the allowed commercial and recreational harvests.  It will also provide for
a catch of other salmon in ocean recreational and commercial fisheries. In
addition, extra risk reduction measures, such as trip limits, will be put in


There have been thirteen years where escapement has been significantly below
the floor required by the Pacific Fishery Management Plan. During each of
those, the stock rebounded to more than 35,000. This rule will allow about
40 percent of the usual commercial salmon harvest this year. The average
landed value of salmon caught in commercial harvest in recent years has been
about $12 million a year in California and $7 million in Oregon. Since 2000,
commercial harvests on the West Coast have averaged over 700,000 Chinook
annually, with coho commercial harvests averaging about 45,000 fish.


Rod McInnis, Director of NOAA Fisheries Southwest Region, added, "We are
acutely aware of the impact this rule has on fisherman and coastal
communities, but feel this is a necessary step to ensure the long-term
health of the salmon fishery. My staff has been working on an economic
analysis to specifically quantify the impact on the fishing season."


The regulations, which will be published in the Federal Register, can be
found at: www.nwr.noaa.gov. More information regarding the Council's
recommendation and process can be found at: http:// www.pcouncil.org.


NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to
enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and
research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental
stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the
emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working
with its federal partners, 61 countries and the European Commission to
develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes,
predicts and protects.


On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov <http://www.noaa.gov/> 

NOAA's National Fisheries Services: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov


Byron Leydecker

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

Advisor, California Trout, Inc

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 ph

415 383 9562 fx

bwl3 at comcast.net

bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org





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