Reflecting the great rainfall and snowpack this year, this salmon season will be a good one, as reported by the Contra Costa Times.
“Regulators set guidelines Wednesday for the most generous Chinook salmon season fishermen have enjoyed in three years.
“The highly anticipated vote by the Pacific Fishery Management Council means commercial fishermen could be landing prize California salmon as early as May 1 -- very good news for California's beleaguered salmon trollers, who have seen their livelihoods dry up as record salmon declines led to unprecedented closures and cutbacks starting in 2008.
“The season will close Sept. 30 and is projected to pump at least $25 million into California's economy. The council, which held its vote at the Marriott San Mateo, sets the fishery rules for California, Oregon and Washington.
"Everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that those fish seem to have recovered," said Duncan Maclean, who fishes salmon out of Half Moon Bay's Pillar Point Harbor and advises the Pacific Fishery Management Council on California salmon issues.
“Biologists estimate that about 730,000 Sacramento River Chinook will be caught or return to spawn this year, the highest number since 2005. Salmon numbers plummeted after boom times in the early 2000s, when more than 1 million adult Chinook were counted. By 2009, the number was closer to 41,000.
“Out of an abundance of caution, regulators will allow California trollers to land only 190,000 salmon this year, while recreational anglers have been allotted 102,000 fish.”