‘Salmon Stocks Plentiful’
Warm up your fishing tackle and buy some bait because North Coast salmon season is getting the green light this year and beginning in only two short weeks, the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced.
Oceans stocks are plentiful, they add.
The California Fish and Game Commission and the Pacific Fishery Management Council said the recreational salmon season from Horse Mountain in Humboldt County south to the US — Mexico border will open on April 6.
In the fall of 2012, nearly 35,500 “jack” Chinook salmon returned to spawn in the Sacramento River and 21,500 returned to the Klamath-Trinity basins. While most Chinook salmon return to spawn after three years in the ocean, jacks are fish that return after just two years making them a reliable predictor of the number of adult salmon remaining in the ocean.
Fishery biologists estimate roughly 1.5 million Chinook salmon will be in California coastal waters through the summer.
While ocean populations for Sacramento River and Klamath-Trinity basin Chinook salmon are predicted to be high, the potential for anglers to catch Sacramento River winter-run Chinook and California coastal Chinook salmon, which are protected under endangered species laws, will be taken into consideration by the Council and the Commission when setting the remainder of the salmon season.
Fishery constraints to protect Sacramento River winter-run Chinook will mostly affect recreational anglers fishing south of Point Arena, while protections for California coastal Chinook apply mainly to commercial anglers along the northern coast.
The daily bag and possession limit is two salmon of any species except Coho. The minimum size limit is 20 inches total length between Horse Mountain and Point Arena.
For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length.
For anglers fishing north of Point Conception, no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used– and no more than one rod per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board.
In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, visit the Ocean Salmon page at: www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Salmon Regulations Hotline (707) 576-3429.