Federal fisheries managers
prescribe final 2007 salmon quotas
by Nathan Rushton, 4/6/2007 The Eureka
It may not be what fishermen were hoping for, but
there will likely be some commercial salmon season
off North Coast waters this year.
And almost anything would be better than last
Following several months of public input meetings,
the Pacific Fisheries Management Council voted to
approve the final measures for the 2007 commercial
salmon season at the conclusion of its weeklong
meeting in Seattle Friday.
The Pacific Fisheries Management Council is one of
eight regional fishery management councils,
established by Congress in 1976, and is
responsible for managing fisheries off the coasts
of California, Oregon and Washington.
In reaching its choice for which of the three
management options it preferred, the council
analyzed the California Department of Fish and
Game’s scientific estimates of how many salmon
were out at sea, as well as how many spawning fish
were expected to return to the area’s rivers.
In a meeting at the Humboldt Area Foundation last
month, CDFG fisheries biologists said vital
Central Valley salmon stocks were at good levels
and that 3-year-old salmon from the Klamath River
are at a near-record high, which was a tenfold
increase of what was expected.
However, the numbers of 4-year-old fish were
estimated to be the lowest in decades.
For Eureka-based fisherman Paul Pellegrini, whose
family has fished from Humboldt Bay for nearly a
century, all three of the management options the
PFMC were weighing “sucked.”
Despite the optimistic estimates for salmon
returns made earlier this year by Fish and Game,
Pellegrini said the harvest quotas weren’t that
“If I had to choose one, Option Two gives the most
opportunity for fishing,” Pellegrini said.
For the most part, the council adopted the bulk of
Option 2 measures for North Coast waters, which
represented the middle ground of management
While Pellegrini said he has been accustomed to
being able to fish south of Fort Bragg in May and
will be allowed to do so under the adopted
measures, fuel costs of $3 per gallon don’t make
the venture “pencil out.”
But while he feels disgruntled about all of the
options, or lack thereof, Pellegrini said the
season was shaping up to be better than last
In 2006, the PFMC adopted the most restrictive
management measures ever for the West Coast
commercial salmon fishery as a result of dismal
returns of Klamath River salmon, which virtually
shut down salmon fishing along a 700-mile stretch
of West Coast waters.
Commercial salmon troll measures for North Coast
Oregon/California border to Humboldt Bay South
Jetty — Chinook quota of 6,000
Sept. 10 through Sept. 30 All salmon except coho.
Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total
length. Landing and possession limit of 30 fish
per vessel per day.
Humboldt South Jetty to Horse Mountain
Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg) —
Chinook quota of 2,000
April 9 through April 27; open Monday to Friday
Aug. 1-29; Sept. 1-30 All salmon except coho.
Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total
length in April and September; 28 inches total
length in August.
Point Arena (Fort Bragg) to Pigeon point (San
May 9-31; July 1 through Aug. 29; Sept. 1-30 All
salmon except coho. Chinook minimum size limit of
27 inches total length in May and September; 28
inches total length in July and August.