WON Big Fish Challenge


Northern CA Saltwater

Fishery managers begin developing 2019 salmon seasons

BY ANDY MARTIN/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 18, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO — After A better-than-expected salmon run on the Sacramento, Klamath and Trinity rivers, as well as wide-open ocean fishing out of the Golden Gate much of the summer, anglers are already looking forward to next summer’s and fall’s seasons.

Federal and state fishery managers will begin the process in January of developing in-river and ocean salmon season dates and limits for 2019.

As biologists review hatchery returns, ocean harvest figures and spawning surveys, the Salmon Technical Team, and advisory panel of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, meets Jan. 22-25 at the PFMC headquarters in Portland to review the 2018 fishery. The team meets again Feb. 19-22 to release its stock assessment for the 2019 seasons.

The PFMC meets March 5-12 in Vancouver, Wash., to release its season options for 2019 for the Klamath and Sacramento rivers, as well as ocean salmon fisheries in California, Oregon and Washington. After a month of public review, the council meets again April 9-16 in Rohnert Park to finalize the salmon options.

Guide Steve Huber of Steve Huber’s Guide Service said the salmon return was better than expected on the Klamath and Trinity rivers this fall. After a slow start to the season, anglers quickly burned through their in-river quotas as thousands of kings poured into the Klamath. “There were a lot of 3-year-olds, which is a good sign for next year, and a lot of jacks, which is a good sign,” Huber said.

After the quotas were filled on the Klamath and Trinity, salmon fishing re-opened near Hornbrook and Lewiston once hatchery and spawning goals were met.

Guide Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service also said the return to the Sacramento River was good this summer and fall. The number of spawning fish in Battle Creek appears to be good, and the return to Coleman National Fish Hatchery was strong, Weese said.

The ocean salmon season was especially strong out of San Francisco and Bodega Bay, with lots of shakers and limits of keeper-size fish most of the season for the charter fleet. The high number of 2-year-old salmon in the ocean has ocean anglers anticipating an abundance of fish in 2019. Returns also were strong on the Rogue River in Oregon, another indicator of healthy ocean conditions.

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