NEWPORT, Ore. – Oregon’s recreational and commercial ocean salmon seasons scheduled to open from March 15 through April 30 have been closed due, in part, to a low projected run of fall Chinook to the Sacramento River. “The closure of these March and April openings was expected,” said Eric Schindler, ocean salmon project leader for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “This typically occurs in years when fishery managers anticipate a significant constraint to fisheries.”
Chinook salmon forecasts for numerous runs that contribute to ocean salmon fisheries off Oregon are expected to allow some fisheries in 2010, Schindler said, but, to develop the best range of fishing options for the remainder of 2010, the March and April sport and commercial ocean salmon seasons were eliminated.
“Of specific concern in the decision to cut these seasons where the continued low number of fall chinook within the Sacramento River,” he said.
The decision came during the week-long Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) meeting taking place in Sacramento. The fishing season options developed at this meeting will go out for more public comment through a series of public hearings to gather testimony. The council will adopt the final set of regulations for the ocean waters off Washington, Oregon, and California when it meets April 10-15 in Portland.
The final regulations from PFMC are also submitted to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for approval. The commission may adopt more stringent regulations for the area inside of 3 miles, but otherwise must adhere to the regulations as finalized by the PFMC.