Reined in by constraints on wild chinook and coho salmon runs from the Fraser River in Canada south to California’s Klamath River, the Pacific Fishery Management Council nevertheless adopted sport, commercial and tribal ocean fishing seasons Tuesday remarkably similar to last year.
Some will even be an improvement.
Arduous negotiations in Seattle over the past week left state and federal biologists somewhat frustrated, but satisfied they’ve met the parameters to blend conservation and opportunity as best they could.
Discussions between state and federal managers included an increasing concern for foraging orcas, dependent upon salmon for survival.
While ocean fishing is predicted to be decent off the Oregon Coast, the toughest news for anglers in Oregon and southwest Washington will be a tightening of restrictions on the lower Columbia River.
Cape Falcon (Manzanita) to Leadbetter Point (Long Beach, Washington): June 25 to Sept. 30 for two adult fish daily. Quotas are 7,700 for chinook (one hatchery or wild allowed per day with a 22-inch minimum length) and 84,000 for coho (up to two per day, but fin-clipped only).
Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain (Port Orford): June 18 through Aug. 21 for hatchery coho and Sept. 3-30 for any coho. Quotas are 100,000 for hatchery coho and 17,000 for the later any-coho season.
Chinook fishing is open now and can continue through October with a daily bag limit of two (total salmon including coho) with no fin clip restrictions and a 24-inch minimum length.
Additional chinook season restrictions are in place south of Humbug Mountain.
All seasons are still subject to final approval by the Department of Commerce, then will be used as a template for seasons in state waters.
— Bill Monroe for The Oregonian/OregonLive