Grim Forecast for West Coast Chinook Seasons; Fishermen Aware of Option of Closure
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - March 1, 2017
Ocean directed coho salmon season this year on the West Coast? Unlikely. Ocean Chinook season? Possibly, but don't hold your breath.
Oregon fishery managers briefed Oregon sport and commercial fishermen Monday on the 2016 salmon returns and this year’s forecasts, but many commercial trollers already had an inkling the news wouldn’t be positive.
Instead, it’s much worse.
The Klamath River fall Chinook escapements of natural spawning Chinook for 2016 are much lower than expected, some of the worst on record.
“They’re the lowest returns since the early ‘90s of natural spawners,” Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Craig Foster said.
The natural fall escapement for fall Chinook was roughly 14,000 salmon in 2016, well below the conservation objective of 40,700 fish. The only time since the late 1970s the escapements were lower was in 1991 and 1992, at about 12,000 fish each year. In 2005 and 2006, when Oregon salmon seasons were shortened or closed completely, the prior years’ returns – on which the 2005 and 2006 seasons were partially based – were higher ...
To Read Full Story Login Below.