With northern California
chinook salmon runs forecast to be at historic lows, the sport
salmon season south of Cape Falcon scheduled for March 15
through April 30 has been closed.
"Chinook salmon forecasts
for runs that contribute to ocean salmon fisheries off Oregon
are estimated to be at very low levels," said Eric Schindler,
ocean salmon supervising biologist for the Oregon Department
of Fish and Wildlife. "Critically low numbers of fall chinook
within the Sacramento River and a very low forecast for
Klamath River three-year-old chinook head the list of problems
facing salmon managers this year."
The commercial ocean troll salmon fishery for all species
except coho between Cape Falcon, Oregon and the
Oregon/California Border that was scheduled to open for the
period of March 15 through April 30 was also closed.
Both actions were by the National Marine Fisheries Service
in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council,
the state of Oregon, and fishery interests.
"This closure will allow fishery managers to better develop
a range of fishing options for the 2008 ocean salmon seasons,"
Schindler said. "The National Marine Fisheries Service and the
Pacific Fishery Management Council are still considering
options for fishing opportunity within this area that could
start as early as April 15."
A decision on any April seasons will be made at the Pacific
Fishery Management Council meeting April 6-12.