View Full Version : DFG Salmon Meeting Report: No Salmon Season 2006?

02-25-2006, 09:58 AM
This is from Dan Bacher:

There may be no salmon fishing season this year on the coast from Cape Falcon, Oregon to the Mexican border after May 1, based on the latest data provided by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) at the salmon informational meeting in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, February 21.

Even if all commercial, tribal and recreational seasons are closed, the spawning escapement goal of 35,000 natural spawners on the Klamath River will probably not be met. Even if all fishing in the ocean and Klamath River is closed, only 29,200 natural fish are expected to spawn in the river, according to Allen Grover of the DFG. This figure is based on an expected age-4 ocean harvest rate of 7 percent, due to ocean commercial and recreational harvest that already occurred in September-November 2005.

If the 2005 regulations are kept in place, only 18,700 fish - just a little over half of the minimum escapement goal - are expected in the river, based on an age-4 ocean salmon rate of 12.2 percent.

“These expected numbers were derived from contact rate per unit effort and the effort per day predictors base on long term time series of these quantities,” said Grover. “Were these predictors to be more heavily weighted towards recent year data, the forecast number of spawners and harvest rate would be even less optimistic.”

For anybody to fish after May 1, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) would be required to get an emergency rule approved by NOAA Fisheries, according to Rod McInnis of NOAA Fisheries. To protect the Klamath stocks, the ocean anglers will be completely prohibited or, in the best-case scenario, allowed severely limited seasons along the coast.

Ironically, the Sacramento River stocks of chinook salmon continue to be relatively robust. The forecasted ocean abundance of Central Valley stocks in 2006 is 632,482 fish, based on a return of age-2 fish (jacks and jills) in the fall of 2005. However, recreational anglers and commercial fishermen will be prohibited from pursuing these fish because the Sacramento River and Klamath River fish mix together in the ocean fishery.

The PFMC will adopt 2006 ocean salmon fishery regulations in April 2006 at their meeting in Sacramento. If the postseason estimate of adult spawners in 2006 is less than 35,000, it would be the third consecutive year of failing to meet the PFMC conservation objective for the stock. Under the terms of the Salmon FMP, this would trigger an overfishing concern and require the PFMC to undertaken an overfishing review, which would likely lead to the development of a rebuilding plan for the stock.

DFG staffers spent over two hours receiving comments from recreational and commercial anglers. Most comments focused on alternatives for limited salmon fisheries in certain areas at certain times to avoid catching Klamath stock.

Roger Thomas, a member of the PFMC and captain of the Salty Lady sportfishing boat, suggested researching a depth restrictive recreational season from Point Reyes to Pt. San Pedro from June through August.

Jim Martin, West Coast Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, proposed a one fish bag limit so that recreational anglers could fish this season.

Other suggestions included opening a recreational fishery in the Monterey Bay Area in April, May and June; Allen Grover then noted that one of the highest Klamath chinook rates on record in the Monterey area was in May 2005. In light of this, Captain Ken Stagnaro from Santa Cruz proposed a secondary option, a recreational season in the Monterey area from July 1 through mid-September.

One angry commercial fisherman from Fort Bragg, Bill Forkner, stood up and summed up the feelings of most meeting participants when he said, "This is all B.S.! You guys (state and federal governments) aren't addressing the problems of the Klamath River!"

Another commercial angler, Barbara, pointed out the irony of a federal government that goes out of its way to supply water to subsidized farmers in the Klamath Basin while it has no problem cutting back salmon seasons. “There are two National Marine Fishery Services, one that puts us out of business and the other that bends over to the farmers,” she said.

Salmon fishermen are being kicked off the water this season because of the legacy of the Klamath fish kills of 2002 – and decades of mismanagement by the state and federal governments, including failure to provide fish passage over Klamath River dams. The fish going up the river this fall include the progeny of the spring 2002 juvenile salmon kill, when over 250,000 fish perished, and the September 2002 adult salmon kill, when over 68,000 chinooks died.

This was a disaster that was engineered in Washington by Karl Rove and the Bush administration. Rove pressured Gale Norton to divert the Klamath water to agribusiness at the expense of fish, tribes, recreational anglers and commercial fishermen to curry favor with local farmers so an Oregon Republican Senator would be reelected. Now recreational anglers, the Klamath Basin Tribes, commercial fishermen and the entire economy of northern California will suffer because of the greed of a few.

When we combine the Delta crash, the Klamath salmon nightmare and the precipitous decline of white sturgeon in the Bay-Delta estuary, it couldn't be much worse for anybody who cares about fish and the environment. These disasters make it urgent that we expose their creators - the federal and state governments - for what they have done to our fisheries. They must all be held accountable for the big money, mismanagement and corruption that created the current nightmare scenario.

The PFMC will adopt a set of options for the 2006 ocean salmon fisheries for public review in Seattle on March 5-10. Then on April 3-7, the council will meet to adopt the 2006 management measures at the DoubleTree Hotel in Sacramento.

You are urged to submit your input at these meetings or in a special public hearing on the proposed salmon fishery management options that will be held on March 28 at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, 2777 Fourth Street, from 7 pm to 10 pm. For more information, call (707) 545-8530.

For more information about the upcoming PFMC meetings, go to their website at: www.pccouncil.org or call (503) 820-2280.

For more information:
Court Rejects Bush Administration's Klamath Water Diversion Plan 11-5-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/051105klamath.html

Governor Slashes Salmon and Steelhead Restoration Budget 7-29-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/050729budget.html

Department of Interior Backs Down On Attempted Raid Of Trinity Water 5-9-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/050509trinity.html

Report Lists Klamath, Salmon Rivers Among State's Most Threatened Wild Places 4-11-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/050411mostthreatened.html

Klamath River Tribes, Fishermen Rally To Remove Dams 3-24-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/050324klamathtribes.html

Bush Administration Renews Central Valley Contracts At Expense of Fish 3-10-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/050310centralvalley.html

Report Reveals Enormous Cost of Agricultural Water Subsidies 1-2-05 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/050310centralvalley.html

NOAA Fisheries Abandons Salmon Restoration 12-22-04 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/041222noaa.html

Wild Salmon Returns On Klamath Tributaries At Record Lows 12-2-04 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/041202salmon.html

Action Alert: Save California Salmon - Block the Contracts!10-6-04 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/041007actionalert.html

Scottish Power Makes Commitment to Klamath River Tribes During Scotland Trip 7-30-04 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/073004scotpower.html

Klamath Falls Congressional Field Hearing a Self Parody 7-26-04 http://www.fishsniffer.com/steelhead/040726congresshearing.html

State Budget Cuts Threatened Klamath River Salmon Recovery 12-23-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/122303threatened.html

California Coho Recovery Plan Released... 1000 Band-aids of Hope 11-14-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/steelhead/031114calcohorecovery.html

National Research Council Klamath Report, Long on Recommendations, Priorities and Funding Lost in Space 11-6-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/steelhead/031106nrc.html

National Research Council Klamath Report Recommendations Include Dam Removal 11-6-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/110603nrc.html

Klamath Basin Conference Participants Discuss Solutions To Fishery Problems 10-21-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/102103klamathconf.html

Thousands of Klamath Fish Die After Power Company Shuts Off Water 10-3-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/100303klamathkill.html

Department of Interior Launches Probe Into Klamath Basin Decisions 10-2-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/100203doiprobe.html

Bush Administration Releases Trinity Water In Wake of Iron Gate Scandal 8-27-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/082703bush.html

Federal Judge Rules Coho Plan Is Illegal 7-25-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/072503cohoplan.html

Klamath Moves To Second Place On Endangered Rivers List 4-18-03 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/041803klamath.html

SMUD Has Its Fingerprints On Dead Klamath Fish; Utility Must Withdraw From Lawsuit Blocking Trinity Restoration 11-15-02 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/111502smud.html

Thompson's Bill Targeting Klamath River Water Crisis Needs Anglers Support!10-31-02 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/103102thompson.html

Fishermen File Lawsuit Against Klamath Ten Year Plan 10-10-02 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/101002klamathlawsuit.html

Bush Administration Water Cuts Result In Massive Fish Kill On Klamath River 9-25-02 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/092502klamath.html

Judge Allows Bureau of Reclamation To Strand Klamath River Salmon 5-17-02 http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/051702klamath.html