[env-trinity] Times Standard 10/24/08

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Oct 24 14:31:35 PDT 2008

Klamath salmon looking good for 2009

Eureka Times Standard - 10/24/08

John Driscoll/The Times-Standard


Early indications are good for Klamath and Trinity river salmon next year,
although Sacramento River fish -- whose collapse ground ocean commercial and
sport fishing to a halt this year -- may still be struggling. 


Counts of adult fish and 2-year-old chinook salmon, which are a strong
indicator of next year's run, have been strong at several weirs on the
Klamath and Trinity. While it's still early, the beginning numbers are


For example, some 1,000 2-year-olds -- called jacks -- have been counted at
the Willow Creek weir. Last year at this time there were 50 counted, said
California Department of Fish and Game biologist Wade Sinnen. 


Biologists don't start tabulating all the information on the two rivers
until the end of December, Sinnen said, but so far it appears that the run
will be average or perhaps a bit better. Counts at other weirs on Klamath
tributaries also are up, he said. 


"It's really all still up in the air," Sinnen said. 


Klamath River salmon stocks have long limited fishermen's access to
typically more abundant Sacramento River fish in the ocean. That's because
they mix at sea, and fishery managers try to limit the effect of fishing on
the Klamath salmon. 


Dave Hillemeier, a senior biologist with the Yurok Tribe, said that
information collected from the tribe's fishery is promising. 


In 2006, commercial fishing for hundreds of miles north and south of the
Klamath mouth was severely restricted. 


But this year, it was a radical decline of Sacramento River fish that
triggered an even wider closure of both ocean commercial and sport salmon
seasons. Both of the crashes were considered disasters, and prompted
Congress to provide tens of millions in relief. 


All eyes are now on the Sacramento, particularly how many 2-year-old and
3-year-old salmon run up the river and its tributaries. 


Dick Pool with Water4Fish, a fishing advocacy group, said that the figures
he's collected from the Sacramento River don't look good. 

"All evidence is that Sacramento River runs are down," Pool said. 


The number of fish predicted to return next year must meet a threshold to
allow fishing. Also important is that hatcheries are able to collect enough
eggs from adult fish, said Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith, also a
sportfishing representative. 


"If they don't, that means they even more have to protect those
four-year-olds for next year," Smith said. 


Four-year-old fish are especially important to the commercial fishery, which
generally has a larger size limit than the sport fishery.



Byron Leydecker, JCT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810

415 519 4810 cell

bwl3 at comcast.net

bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org (secondary)


 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net>  



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