Low Forecasted Returns For California’s Endangered Chinook Prompts Spring Ocean Fishing Shut Down Off Oregon, California Coasts

March 16th, 2023

With severely low forecasted returns of California Chinook salmon (Sacramento and Klamath River), the National Marine Fisheries Service has cancelled the spring 2023 commercial ocean troll salmon fishery (Cape Falcon to the California border) and the spring recreational ocean salmon fishery (March 15-May 15 from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain). This decision was made in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the states of Oregon and California.

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California Salmon: Shrinking Age Distribution Of Returning Spawners Increases Impacts Of A Bad Year, Warming Climate; Older Fish Rarely Observed

March 9th, 2023

By returning to spawn in the Sacramento River at different ages, Chinook salmon lessen the potential impact of a bad year and increase the stability of their population in the face of climate variability, according to a new study by scientists at UC Santa Cruz and NOAA Fisheries.

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Legislatures Consider Bills To Further Restrict Gillnetters From Lower Columbia River Mainstem; Off-Channel Spring Chinook Fishing Days Approved

February 17th, 2023

Oregon and Washington legislatures are considering bills that would move more commercial gillnetters off the mainstem Columbia River. Washington lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prohibit gillnetting in the mainstem as of January 2025 and it would renew a gillnet license buyback program it began last year that cost about $14 million.

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Concerning Drop In White Sturgeon Abundance Prompts Fisheries Managers To Recommend No Retention Fishing Below Bonneville Dam

February 8th, 2023

Oregon and Washington fishery agencies announced they will not propose commercial or recreational white sturgeon fishing this year downstream of Bonneville Dam due to a projected low abundance of legal-sized fish, according to a joint status report released this week by the states.

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Fishery Managers Expecting Over 300,000 Spring Chinook To Enter Columbia River This Year, 90 Percent Hatchery Fish

February 2nd, 2023

Columbia River fishery managers are expecting a larger run of upriver spring Chinook salmon to enter the river this year and cross Bonneville Dam, but barely 10 percent of the salmon would be of natural origin, according to a recently released joint Oregon and Washington report that includes preseason run size forecasts. That compares to actual returns in 2022 when 15.5 percent of the upriver run was of natural origin.

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WDFW Seeks Comment On Draft Update To Columbia River (ESA-Listed) Smelt Management Plan; Aim Is Sustainable Harvest

February 2nd, 2023

A draft plan for managing Columbia River threatened smelt (eulachon) is out for review by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Among the plan’s features is a transparent approach to evaluating when and if commercial and recreational fisheries can be adopted.

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Pending Court Decision Could Decide Fate Of SE Alaska Chinook Trolling Seasons, Increased Salmon For Endangered Killer Whales

January 27th, 2023

Commercial fishers in Southeast Alaska waters may soon lose two trolling seasons for Chinook salmon in order to provide more fish for endangered Southern Resident killer whales in Puget Sound. As a result of the possible termination of that fishery, the whales could gain nearly 5 percent in available prey, according to a judge’s recent report in a Washington federal court.

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