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The formula for allotting salmon

March 29, 2008, The Daily Triplicate

Triplicate staff

Determining fall chinook salmon fishing in the Klamath River's reach is initiated by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. Every year, the group predicts the number of adult fish returning to the river the following fall.

From that number, the council determines what the harvestable surplus should be. American Indian tribes receive 50 percent of that amount, and the remaining catch is split among in-river fishing, and ocean sport and commercial fishing.

This area, known as the Klamath Management Zone, stretches from Humbug Mountain in Curry County, Ore., to Horse Mountain in Humboldt County. The zone was set up to manage the Klamath stock.

Of the 50 percent fall chinook allocation set for tribes, the Yurok Tribe can harvest 80 percent, and the Hoopa Valley Tribe receives the remaining 20 percent. These tribes have federal reserve fishing rights.

Federal fishery managers determine the ocean chinook season each year, considering the previous year's coast-wide runs as indicators of future abundance. Managers must consider a minimum number of spawners returning to rivers when planning the ocean season.

Each spring, the Yurok Tribe holds a number of meetings for tribal members to gain input on the fall season, and ideas are brought to the Tribal Council for review. The council then decides how many fish will go toward subsistence or commercial fishing. All Yurok tribal members are eligible to go subsistence fishing.

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