[env-trinity] Commission adopts river and ocean salmon season regulations

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Fri Apr 20 07:37:15 PDT 2012


From: Dan Bacher <danielbacher at fishsniffer.com>
Date: April 19, 2012 5:38:03 PM PDT
Subject: Commission adopts river and ocean salmon season regulations 

http://blogs.alternet.org/danbacher/2012/04/19/commission-adopts-river-and-ocean-salmon-season-regulations/

Photo: The big return of jack (two-year-old) chinook salmon like these to the Central Valley and Klamath rivers in 2011 points to large numbers of adult salmon coming back to spawn this year. Photo by Dan Bacher.





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Commission adopts river and ocean salmon season regulations 

by Dan Bacher 
 
 
The California Fish and Game Commission on April 18 voted 3 to 0 to approve a Klamath-Trinity River recreational salmon season with the highest adult fall chinook quota since 1986, 67,600 fish, and increased bag and possession limits due to the projected high abundance on the river this year.  

The Commission also approved the generous ocean salmon sportfishing regulations adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) at its April meeting in Seattle. 

The Commission adopted Central Valley river salmon seasons last week. These seasons are similar to last year's regulations, except that anglers can fish the Mokelumne River and the area on the Feather River below the Thermalito Afterbay Outlet this year. 

Wade Simmen, DFG fishery biologist, said the daily bag limit on the Klamath and Trinity Rivers will be increased to 4 adult chinooks over 22 inches and the possession limit will be raised to 8 adult chinooks. 

In the Klamath River, biologists are forecasting four times more salmon than last year – and an astounding 15 times more than in 2006. The ocean salmon population is estimated to be 1.6 million adult Klamath River fall Chinook, compared to last year's forecast of 371,100. 

"The projected natural adult spawning escapement after harvest is 86,300 fish, more than double the conservation floor of 40,700 fish," noted Simmen.

However, Commissioner Michael Sutton cautioned, “I want to remain on record with my concern that just because we have a bumper year in the system, that not everything is hunky-dory in the Klamath. I will be happier when we remove the dams, restore habitat and have all wild fish returning to the Klamath.” 

After both proposals were adopted, Comissioner Jim Kellogg, said, “It’s awesome for everybody to be back on the water and to enjoy what nature has made available.” 

The DFG announced that the generous seasons and increased fishing opportunities are the hallmarks of what is expected to be a “banner season” for ocean and river anglers. 

“We are optimistic that excellent ocean and inland salmon seasons lie ahead for California anglers,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This could be one of the best salmon seasons in a decade, supporting both recreational and commercial fishermen and their communities.” 

Golden Gate Salmon Association President Victor Gonella also responded to the California Fish and Game Commission’s adoption of ocean and inland salmon seasons. 

"We're looking forward to better salmon fishing this year thanks in part to a more balanced use of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta waters in recent years which has left enough water to grow a healthy salmon run,” said Gonella. “Consumers can look forward to the best salmon in the world at their local markets. Both sport and commercial salmon fishermen will be out fishing and contributing to the economic vitality of the state, especially the coastal regions and the Sacramento Valley. 

He noted, “We expect a lot of salmon to swim into San Francisco Bay on their way to spawn in Central Valley rivers this summer and fall. Water managers will need to retain enough cold water to help this valuable fish reproduce." 

“If you want to go fishing, contact one our many fine charter boats and they'll do their best to get you on the fish,” added Gonella. 

The Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fishermen, businesses, restaurants, tribes, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GGSA has a board composed of representatives of this diverse community, which reaches from Oregon to the California Central Coast, through the Bay-Delta and up a dozen rivers in the Central Valley. 

While anglers look forward to a banner salmon season, the Brown administration is fast-tracking the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build a peripheral canal or tunnel, an enormously expensive and environmentally destructive government boondoggle that is expected to hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, Sacramento splittail and other fish species. 

The Fish & Game Commission press release is available at 
http://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/commission-adopts-salmon-season-regulation-packages. 

2012 Ocean and River Salmon Seasons: 

The newly adopted ocean salmon sport fishing regulations conform to those adopted by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. The opening date in the Klamath Management Zone is May 1. All other zones are currently open. Complete ocean salmon regulations are posted at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp 

On all Central Valley rivers, the daily bag and possession limit is two Chinook salmon. 

On the Trinity and Klamath rivers the daily bag limit is four Chinook of any size and eight in possession prior to reaching the quota. All anglers must have Salmon Harvest Cards in their possession when fishing for salmon on the Klamath and Trinity rivers. 

Other enhanced salmon fishing opportunities are available on the Mokelumne River and portions of the Feather River from the unimproved boat ramp above the Thermalito Afterbay Outfall down river. 

Key elements of the newly adopted inland salmon seasons and regulations for Central Valley rivers and the Klamath and Trinity rivers are listed below. The full regulations package approved by the Commission is available at http://www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2012/index.aspx 

SACRAMENTO RIVER 

Open Aug. 1 through Dec.16 from the Deschutes Road Bridge near Anderson downstream to 500 feet upstream from Red Bluff Diversion Dam. 

Open July 16 through Dec. 16 from 150 feet below the Lower Red Bluff (Sycamore) boat ramp to the Highway 113 Bridge near Knights Landing. 

Open July 16 through Dec. 16 from the Highway 113 Bridge near Knights Landing downstream to the Carquinez Bridge. 

FEATHER RIVER 

Open July 16 through Oct. 15 from unimproved boat launch ramp above the Thermalito Afterbay Outfall downstream to 200 yards above the Live Oak boat ramp. 

Open July 16 through Dec. 16 from 200 yards above Live Oak boat ramp to the mouth.   

AMERICAN RIVER 

Open from July 16 through Dec. 31 from Nimbus Dam to Hazel Avenue Bridge. 

Open from July 16 through Aug. 15 from Hazel Avenue Bridge to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) gauging station cable crossing near Nimbus Hatchery. 

Open July 16 through Oct. 31 from the USGS gauging station cable crossing near Nimbus Hatchery to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) power line crossing the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park. 

Open from July 16 through Dec. 16 from the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park to the Jibboom Street Bridge. 

Open July 16 through Dec. 16. from the Jibboom Street Bridge to the mouth. 

MOKELUMNE RIVER 

Open July 16 through Oct. 15 from Camanche Dam to the Highway 99 Bridge. 

Open July 16 through Dec. 31 from the Highway 99 Bridge to the Woodbridge Irrigation District Dam, including Lodi Lake. 

Open July 16 through Dec. 16 from the Lower Sacramento Road Bridge to the mouth. (For purposes of this regulation, this river segment is defined as Mokelumne River and its tributary sloughs downstream of the Lower Sacramento Road Bridge, east of Highway 160 and north of Highway 12.) 

KLAMATH RIVER 

Open to fall-run Chinook salmon fishing from Aug. 15 through Dec. 31 with a daily bag limit of four Chinook salmon of any size. The possession limit is eight Chinook salmon of any size. The 2012 quota for the Klamath River basin is 67,600 fall-run salmon more than 22 inches long. Once this quota has been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 22 inches long may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 22 inches). A weekly DFG status report will be available by calling 1-800-564-6479. 

Open to spring-run Chinook salmon fishing from Jan. 1 through Aug. 14 with a daily bag and possession limit of two salmon. The take of salmon is prohibited on the Klamath River from Iron Gate Dam downstream to Weitchpec from Jan. 1 through Aug. 14. 

TRINITY RIVER 

Open to fall-run Chinook salmon fishing from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 with a daily bag limit of four Chinook salmon of any size. The possession limit is eight Chinook salmon of any size. The 2012 quota for the Klamath River basin is 67,600 fall-run salmon more than 22 inches long. Once this quota has been met, no Chinook salmon greater than 22 inches long may be retained (anglers may still retain a limit of Chinook salmon under 22 inches). A weekly DFG status report will be available by calling 1-800-564-6479. The Trinity River main stem downstream of the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to the Denny Road Bridge in Hawkins Bar is closed to all fishing Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. 

Open to spring-run Chinook salmon fishing from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31. The daily bag and possession limit is two Chinook salmon. The take of salmon is prohibited from the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River downstream to the confluence of the Klamath River from Jan. 1 through Aug. 31. 

All other regulations for bag and possession limits for trout, salmon and other species, as well as general information about restrictions on fishing methods and gear on the above rivers, are available on the DFG website at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations 

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