Pacific Fishery Management Council releases alternatives for 2019 West Coast Ocean Salmon Fisheries

The Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted three alternative season structures for 2019 ocean salmon fisheries off of Washington, Oregon and California today, Tuesday, March 12, 2019 for public review. The Council will make a final decision on salmon seasons at its meeting in Rohnert Park, California, on April 11-15.

Detailed information about season starting dates, areas open, and catch limits for all three alternatives are available on the Council’s website at www.pcouncil.org.

“Although some forecasts are up over last year, this year’s salmon runs are still challenging for ocean fishermen and managers,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “In the north, conservation requirements for Fraser River (Canada) and other natural coho runs, as well as lower Columbia River natural tule fall Chinook, will constrain fisheries. In the south, we need to protect Sacramento River fall and winter Chinook, as well as California Coastal Chinook.”

NORTHERN OREGON AND WASHINGTON  (north of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries north of Cape Falcon (in northern Oregon) are limited by the need to reduce catch of lower Columbia natural tule Chinook and coho stocks of concern. Additionally, three stocks of coho (Queets River, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Snohomish) remain categorized as overfished, which is also a concern when structuring 2019 fisheries.

Sport season alternatives

Ocean sport fishery alternatives north of Cape Falcon in Oregon and off the Washington coast include Chinook recreational quotas ranging from 22,500 to 32,500, compared to 27,500 in 2018. For coho, recreational quotas range from 100,000 to 205,000 hatchery coho, an increase from 2018. Starting dates range from June 15 to June 29, and in all alternatives, recreational fisheries are scheduled to run through mid-to-late September. Both coho and Chinook retention are allowed in all alternatives.

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