View Full Version : Article from today's Eureka paper about salmon

03-15-2006, 09:13 AM
This one somewhat delineates the cost of a reduced season or total closure for the Eureka area.
For a small coastal town stuff like this has a serious impact as there isn't much else that has the ability to generate jobs or revenue.
Timber, fishing and some mining those were the mainstays.
Salmon season shutout would sting fishermen

John Driscoll The Times-Standard
Eureka Times Standard

For the past couple of months, most fishermen have been aware that this year's salmon season would be a bust. The prognosis is, indeed, poor.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council will weigh several options (see sidebar) before choosing one to send on to the National Marine Fisheries Service, which will create the final regulations. The California Fish and Game Commission will also have to consider what fishing will be allowed on the Klamath and Trinity rivers -- and then only if there are any fish deemed available for the taking.

The public will have a chance to comment on the options, though none of the hearings will be local. And with low projected chinook salmon runs on the Klamath, regulators may have a difficult time choosing the least restrictive option.

Both recreational and commercial fishing off the North Coast could be closed under several scenarios, taking a bite out of charter operations, tackle shops, hotels, restaurants and the state's $100 million-plus commercial salmon industry.

”There's just no doubt that whatever happens this year will devastate the tribal, commercial and recreational fisheries,” said Humboldt County 1st District Supervisor Jimmy Smith, who also represents sport fishermen in the area.

Smith said work will be done toward drafting a compensation package for those affected in an effort to preserve the infrastructure -- boats, resorts, fishing guides -- that supports the salmon fishery. Then it's a matter of hoping there will be enough fish to allow fishing next year, so Humboldt County isn't forgotten by fishing tourists, he said.

In a review of the 2005 California salmon fishery out of Eureka, the Pacific council found that commercial fishing brought in $339,000 in income alone -- nearly all commercial fishermen also fish out of more southerly ports, where they earn most of their salmon money -- while sport fishing provided $828,000 in income. That's only in Eureka, and doesn't include impacts for Shelter Cove or Trinidad. It also doesn't express total economic impact, or the effects fishing has on the small river communities along the Klamath River itself.

The American Sportfishing Association puts the economic effect of California's saltwater fishing at $1.7 billion, with freshwater fishing adding another $811 million.

The closest public hearings are March 27 at the Red Lion Hotel in Coos Bay, Ore., and at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. The meetings begin at 7 p.m. The council will adopt options during meetings from April 3 to 7 in Sacramento.

Commercial salmon options:

From the Oregon border to the South Jetty

Option 1: Oregon border to the South Jetty: Sept. 3 to Sept. 30, or no more than 2,000 salmon.

Option 2: Closed

Option 3: Closed

From the South Jetty to Horse Mountain

Option 1: Closed

Option 2: Closed

Option 3: Closed

Ocean sport salmon fishing options:

Humbug Mountain to Horse Mountain (Klamath Management Zone)

Option 1: May 26 to July 4 and Aug. 14 to Sept. 11; minimum size 24 inches; two fish per day

Option 2: May 28 to 31; July 1 to 4; Aug. 23 to Sept. 6; minimum size 24 inches; two fish per day

Option 3: Closed

Klamath River fishing options:

Option 1: Anglers would get 15 percent of allotment for commercial and recreational fishing. (This number is unknown. If, at upcoming meetings, they determine to allow fishing below the floor, this would kick in.)

Option 2: Closed

Option 3: Closed

Note: Option one could be adjusted if the California Fish and Game Commission recommends a different allocation, but only if fish are made available to catch.

Dan Bacher
03-15-2006, 12:26 PM
Driscoll is a good journalist that is always on top of the fishery and environmental issues. He extensively covered the Klamath Fish kill and the events that led up to it - and has continued to cover the Klamath and North Coast salmon issues much more consistently than just about any other daily newspaper reporter.