4/6/2023 OCEAN SALMON ACTION NOTICE: The Pacific Fishery Management Council finalized their recommendations for 2023 ocean salmon seasons on Thursday, April 6. Seasons from May 16 on are not official until final approval by the Secretary of Commerce, and after adoption by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for waters within 3 nautical miles of shore.
Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook salmon stocks are severely constraining all seasons from Cape Falcon through California. The primary drivers affecting these populations of Chinook salmon are the direct result of the severe drought in California. To address the critically low abundances of these two stocks, the Council has recommended a complete shutdown of all salmon seasons in California, and all Chinook salmon seasons in Oregon south of Cape Falcon prior to September 1. By September 1 most of these stocks have left the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. and Oregon’s coastal fall Chinook have begun staging near the coast where they will comprise majority of the catch.
This year’s forecast for Columbia Basin hatchery coho salmon represents the third consecutive year of strong abundance in as many years, and recreational coho quotas and seasons reflect this trend. North of Cape Falcon, Chinook quotas were most restricted by tule fall Chinook from the Columbia River, while the most constraining coho were various stocks in Puget Sound. The limiting coho stock for fisheries south of Cape Falcon is the Oregon Coastal Natural coho again this year, and for Chinook it is both Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook.
Recreational Season Summary:
Ocean waters off the Columbia River from Leadbetter Pt., Washington to Cape Falcon, Oregon will be open for an all-salmon season North of Cape Falcon beginning June 24 and continue through the earlier of September 30, or quota with a hatchery mark selective coho quota of 79,800. There is also a Chinook guideline in this area of 11,490. The daily bag limit will be two salmon, but no more than one Chinook and all coho must have a healed adipose fin clip. Minimum length for Chinook is 22” and the coho minimum length is 16”.
The recreational hatchery mark selective coho salmon season from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA Border will open on June 17 and continue through the earlier of August 31 or the quota of 110,000 adipose fin-clipped coho. Chinook retention is prohibited through the end of August.
There will be a non-selective coho season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. opening on September 1, and will be open seven days per week through the earlier of September 30 or the quota of 25,000 non-mark selective coho. The daily bag limit is two fish, only one of which may be a Chinook. The open days in September may be adjusted in season. Coho minimum length of 16” and Chinook minimum length of 24”.
Retention of one Chinook salmon per day will be allowed beginning September 1 and continue through October 31 in the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. The season will only be open inside of the 40-fathom management line from October 1-31. Chinook minimum length of 24”.
All recreational anglers are limited to no more than 2 single point barbless hook per line when fishing for salmon, and for any species if salmon are on board the vessel.
Commercial Troll Season Summary:
The commercial troll salmon seasons north of Cape Falcon will have limited Chinook quotas again this year. The fishery will be managed by quotas, season length, and vessel landing week (Thurs.-Weds.) limits. The early all salmon except coho season opens May 1 and will continue through the earlier of June 29 or the overall quota of 26,000 Chinook salmon, or the Leadbetter Pt. to Cape Falcon subarea cap of 6,040 Chinook. The early season will have a 60 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thurs–Wed) limit. Chinook minimum length of 27”.
The summer all salmon fishery north of Cape Falcon will open on July 1 and continue through the earlier of the overall Chinook quota of 13,000 Chinook or quota of 30,400 fin-clipped coho. Landing week (Thurs–Wed) limit of 150 adipose fin-clipped coho per vessel. Minimum lengths are 27” for Chinook, and 16” for coho.
Vessels must land in this area or into Garibaldi. Mandatory call-in requirements within an hour of landing are in place for all troll salmon seasons in this area. Vessels must call in to (541)857-2546 with vessel name, vessel number, number of harvested salmon by species, port of landing, destination of fish, and estimated time of delivery. The mandatory report can also be made by email to email@example.com. Oregon licensed vessels may only fish south of Leadbetter Pt., Washington.
NOTE: Any boats fishing in the area north of Cape Falcon and retaining Chinook that are greater than 27” but less than 28” must land all salmon into ports north of Cape Falcon. Boats may only land Chinook in this size range into Garibaldi if the season south of Cape Falcon has been closed more than 48 hours.
In the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. seasons will not open until September 1. Beginning September 1 and continuing through October 31, this area will be open for Chinook salmon with a landing week (Thurs-Wed) limit of 75 Chinook per vessel. For the period of October 1-31, the open area will be limited to shoreward of the 40-fathom management line. This area will also be open for non-mark selective coho from September 1 through the earlier of September 30, or a non-mark selective quota of 10,000 coho with a landing week (Thurs–Wed) limit of 75 coho per vessel. Minimum lengths are 28” for Chinook, and 16” for coho.
Both commercial troll salmon fishermen and recreational anglers should review the full regulations prior to participating in the ocean salmon fisheries. Single point barbless hooks are required in all ocean salmon seasons. Commercial salmon trollers are reminded that they are restricted to no more than 4 spreads per wire for all seasons from Cape Falcon to the OR/CA border.
Copies of the adopted seasons will be available at the PMFC’s website soon (www.pcouncil.org) in Preseason Report III. Graphics of the recreational and commercial troll seasons have already been made available on www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/salmon/.