March 9, 2023 The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), the State of Oregon, and the State of California met today, March 9, 2023 via a blended conference call and in person meeting and have taken the following in-season management action related to the scheduled March 15 commercial and recreational Chinook salmon openings off Oregon between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt.:
ACTION TAKEN: The commercial and recreational ocean salmon fishery scheduled to open on March 15 and continue through May 15 in ocean waters between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. off Oregon are canceled for 2023.
RATIONALE: Multiple stocks of California Chinook Salmon are at extremely low abundance and are projected to potentially fall below target spawning escapements. Guidance from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for 2023 ocean salmon seasons that include contacts with Sacramento River fall Chinook was that “extraordinary measures are needed in 2023 to address these circumstances and to ensure that fishery management is not a contributing factor.” For Klamath River fall Chinook the NMFS guidance is “that a precautionary approach is warranted and underscores the need to carefully consider the factors described in the FMP in setting the ER (exploitation rate). Given the extremely low abundance forecast and resulting low level of allowable fishing mortality, NMFS anticipates harvest opportunity will be substantially constrained in the region between Cape Falcon, Oregon, and Point Sur, California.” Oregon fisheries typically intercept these stocks throughout the entire area to the South of Cape Falcon, and these stocks are very important contributors to Oregon’s spring and summer fisheries.
Seasons from May 16, 2023 through early May 15, 2024 are currently being developed. Season alternatives will be reviewed, and a final season recommendation will be made at the April Pacific Fishery Management Council public meeting. Interested members of the public should visit www.pcouncil.org for information on how to participate in the April meeting.
Visit https://dfw.state.or.us/MRP/salmon/ for more information on Oregon’s ocean salmon seasons and fisheries.