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Lean Times Continue for CA Salmon Anglers

From Fishing the North / Kenny Priest
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Following a year of a complete salmon shutdown across the board, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) is again taking a precautionary approach in setting the 2024 ocean salmon seasons, even though ocean abundance forecasts have increased over the prior year for both the Sacramento River and Klamath River Fall Chinook. Watch the meetings on YouTube: CLICK HERE

When the PFMC released its first, and not final, ocean sport salmon season options Thursday, March 7, the news wasn’t good for salmon anglers statewide.

For the California KMZ, which runs from the Oregon-California border to latitude 40°10’ N and includes Humboldt County, the three preliminary alternatives currently on the table are:

Alternative 1: May 25-28; July 4-7; August 29-31, Sept. 1-Oct 15
Alternative 2: July 4-10

Alternative 3: Closed

This is just the first iteration, these will likely change a few more times between now and Monday when the meetings conclude. From latitude 40°10’ N to Point Arena, which includes Shelter Cove and Fort Bragg, the three alternatives are the same as the CA KMZ.

Yet to be determined are the fishing seasons within the Central Valley and Klamath/Trinity Rivers. It’s widely believed both will be heavily restricted with regards to retention of fall Chinook. To view all salmon management alternatives, visit pcouncil.org/annual-salmon-management-process/.

Up next, the PFMC will hold a public hearing March 25 in Santa Rosa to receive public comment on the three proposed regulatory alternatives. The PFMC will then meet April 6 through April 11 in Seattle, WA to procedurally finalize the closures. Details on how to attend the public hearing and PFMC meeting, as well as instructions to provide public comment, can be found at pcouncil.org.

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