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Worst Klamath chinook run on record forecast

Management option could close vast swath of fishery

The Oregonian by Bill Monroe 3/15/17

The worst run forecast on record for the Klamath Riverís chinook salmon could close all salmon fishing along most of the Oregon Coast this summer.

Thatís the most draconian of three season alternatives adopted Monday by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, meeting in Vancouver, Wash.

All three, however, allow some coho and chinook fishing in the Pacific Ocean north of Cape Falcon, including popular fisheries off the mouth of the Columbia River. Seasons would be similar to 2016.


Fishery options

South of Cape Falcon, near Manzanita, Sacramento and Klamath river chinook mix with other returning salmon, so to protect them, all salmon sportfishing might close after April 30.

(That alternative is similar to a closure proposal in 2008, spurred by a low run into the Sacramento River. However, there was a tightly limited coho fishery that year. The economic shock to the coast brought a state-of-emergency declaration from Gov. Ted Kulongoski and a release of $1 million to help the commercial and charter fishing industries.)

Two other 2017 alternatives allow for both coho and chinook fishing seasons similar to last summer (but only south to Humbug Mountain near Port Orford) and the most liberal allows for a September non-marked coho fishery.

Season proposals are found on the councilís website at http://bit.ly/2nkQRWV.


All three alternatives will be publicly aired March 27 in Coos Bay and Westport, Wash., and March 28 in Fort Bragg, Calif.

Final season decisions will be made by the council in Sacramento, Calif., April 6-12, and submitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service for adoption by May 1.

Discussions on Columbia River fishing seasons also begin this month, with a public meeting scheduled March 24 in Vancouver, Wash., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, Wash.



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