Commercial salmon season slashed by lingering drought impacts
Commercial salmon season slashed by lingering drought impacts.
California’s commercial salmon industry is being slashed this year because of lingering environmental impacts from the drought.
In a decision expected to make chinook salmon scarcer at markets and restaurants, federal fishery managers called Tuesday for sharp restrictions on commercial catches in response to low numbers of the adult fish swimming off the Pacific Coast.
“It’s a financial disaster.
This is really going to hurt people who rely on fishing for a living, both culturally and in the pocket book.” The Pacific Fishery Management Council called for sharp restrictions that limit the commercial season to August and September off the coast from Pigeon Point near San Francisco to Point Arena in Mendocino County.
This represents about half the season in normal years.
The entire commercial salmon season will be canceled this year in an area from Florence in southern Oregon to Horse Mountain south of Eureka to protect struggling Klamath River salmon, the Pacific Fishery Management Council decided.
While officially a recommendation, the advice is expected to be adopted by May 1 by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Federal fishery biologists say the restrictions are warranted because of diminished numbers of adult fish swimming off the Pacific Coast before they return through the Delta to spawn in Central Valley rivers, or return up the Klamath River to reach spawning grounds there.
Members of the federal fishery council say sharp fishing limits are necessary to protect Central Valley chinook salmon, including the endangered Sacramento River winter run salmon.