Salmon seasons set for Oregon,
California, Washington coasts
by DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP, Seattle Post
SEATTLE -- After nearly shutting down salmon
fishing off the Oregon and California coasts last
year, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council
decided Friday to allow as much fishing as
possible in those improved fisheries.
This year's restrictions fall to the north - off
the coast of Washington and in Puget Sound, said
Chuck Tracy, salmon staff officer for the council.
"Last year, the area of central Oregon and the
California fishers were very constrained. This
year, the Klamath Falls chinook has made a
turnaround. They have basically as much fishing
time as possible," Tracy said.
He said the length of the Oregon and California
season and the quotas set for commercial and
recreational fishermen will be close to those of a
The salmon season extending south from Cape
Falcon, about 30 miles south of the mouth of the
Columbia River, to the Mexican border will open on
a series of dates between April and October this
year - with different dates and quotas for each of
eight geographic areas. Next year, the season will
open on March 15 for all salmon except coho.
The quota for the Klamath River recreational
fishery was set at 10,400. The Klamath Tribe was
given a quota of 40,800 chinook. Commercial
fishermen were given per vessel quotas of 100
chinook per week in April, and 75 per week per
vessel in September and October. Some areas have
more specific restrictions, such as which ports
are open on which days.
North of Cape Falcon to the Canadian border, the
season is limited to dates in May through
September, and the quotas have been cut for
commercial fishing. Most recreational fishing has
been curtailed as well, but there will be some
increases in coho quotas, Tracy said.
The council set an overall non-Indian quota for
the Washington fisheries of 32,500 chinook and
140,000 coho for 2007.
"Commercial fisheries catch primarily chinook, so
they're going to face a much tougher time this
year," said Tracy, who said the quotas for
Washington fishing were among the lowest since
He said the council had some difficult
negotiations during its meeting in Seattle this
week, particularly over the salmon season within
A commercial fisherman from California expressed
anger concerning the negotiation process after the
meeting ended in suburban SeaTac, even though the
restrictions set by the council would not affect
his salmon catch near Eureka, Calif.
Dave Bitts called the restrictions placed on
Washington commercial fishing "totally politically
motivated" and said government officials did not
show scientific proof to support the quotas.
"I was amazed that people weren't running around
looking for pitchforks," said Bitts who has been a
commercial fisherman for about 30 years. "I
thought they were way too civil about it."
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