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First blush seen on ocean salmon season

By John Driscoll The Times-Standard

The first glimpses of what the 2005 ocean salmon sport fishing season may look like range from not so bad to not so good.

Humboldt County 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith reported the preliminary recommendations for the season from the Klamath Fishery Management Council meeting in Sacramento Sunday and Monday. The Pacific Fishery Management Council is digesting the suggestions, which Smith said are likely to change.

"No doubt it's going to be modified," he said.

The three preliminary options for Gold Beach, Ore., to Eureka follow:

* May 14 to July 10 and July 21 to Sept. 14.

* May 21 to July 10 and July 30 to Sept. 14.

* May 21 to July 10 and August 6 to Sept. 14.

All recommendations have a two-fish-a-day limit, up to 14 fish a week.

The number of days open to fishing under these scenarios are significantly fewer this year than in recent years, although any time available to fish in July would be welcome for ocean fishermen.

The ocean sport fishery hasn't reached its yearly quota for 12 years. But last year, commercial salmon fishermen caught nearly four times the number of Klamath salmon they were allotted and, in part, that will likely lead to severe cuts to commercial fishing, especially in this area.

The weak Klamath salmon stocks limit commercial and recreational fishing up and down the West Coast. The idea is to prevent too many Klamath salmon, which mix with other rivers' fish in the ocean, from being caught.

So, in a year in which Sacramento River salmon are bountiful, like this year, restrictions are imposed because of Klamath fish.





Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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