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Salmon Forecasts Not Promising    

Post By: culinarypunk      Posted: 3/8/2017 7:25:09 AM     Points: 81376    

Commercial and sport anglers have received unwelcome news on the predicted return of Chinook salmon this year to California waters. State and federal fishery scientists presented updates on the numbers of spawning Chinook and the expected abundance for the upcoming fishing season at the annual Ocean Salmon Information Meeting held in Santa Rosa today.

Forecasts suggest there are 230,700 Sacramento River fall run Chinook adults in the ocean this year, along with 54,200 Klamath River fall run adults. Both forecasts are lower than those of recent years, with the forecast for Klamath fall run being among the lowest on record. Salmon from these runs typically comprise the majority of salmon taken in California's ocean and inland fisheries.

"With a poor forecast for Klamath fall run and continued concerns over the winter run, California anglers will see reduced Chinook fishing opportunity as compared to last year," said Brett Kormos, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Chinook that will be harvested in ocean fisheries in 2017 hatched two to four years ago, and were deeply affected by poor river conditions driven by California's recent drought.

CDFW and federal fish agency partners have expended millions of dollars on measures to minimize the impacts of the drought. These efforts have included trucking the majority of hatchery salmon smolts to acclimation pens in the lower Delta, improving hatchery infrastructure to keep juvenile fish alive under poor water quality conditions and partnering with sport and commercial fishermen to increase smolt survival. Though all of these efforts helped, other environmental factors – such as unusually warm water conditions in the ocean – were beyond human control.

The 2017 forecasts, in addition to information on endangered Sacramento River winter Chinook, will be used over the next two months by fishery managers to set sport and commercial fishing season dates, commercial quotas, and size and bag limits.

Season dates and other regulations will be developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and California Fish and Game Commission over the next two months. For more information on the salmon season setting process or general ocean salmon fishing information, please visit the Ocean Salmon Project website or call the salmon fishing hotline at (707) 576-3429.

 Reply by: culinarypunk      Posted: 3/10/2017 5:56:42 AM     Points: 81376    

California salmon anglers are looking at another bleak fishing season, despite the remarkably wet winter – a lingering impact from the state’s five-year drought.
This week, state and federal fisheries regulators released their estimates for the numbers of adult fall-run Chinook salmon swimming off California’s coast. The news was even more grim than the drought-weakened numbers of fish last year.
An estimated 54,200 adult fall-run Chinook salmon reared in the Klamath River are swimming off the Pacific Coast – among the lowest number on record and down from 142,000 in 2016. Of the adult fish reared in the Sacramento River and its tributaries, biologists estimate there are 230,700 in the Pacific Ocean – 70,000 fewer than last year.

The reason for the declines? The adult fish set to return to Central Valley rivers to spawn were hatched two to four years ago, during the peak of California’s record-breaking drought when river and ocean conditions were abysmal.
Salmon from the Sacramento and Klamath river systems account for the vast majority of salmon caught by anglers in California’s rivers and along the coast. They’re considered critical to the state’s commercial and recreational salmon industries, which account for an estimated $1.4 billion in annual economic activity.
The report comes as state biologists are in crisis mode to rescue stranded baby salmon in the Feather River, a key Sacramento River tributary. On Monday, the operators of Oroville Dam shut down flows from its damaged main spillway to assess damage and clear debris in the channel below. The sudden drop in flows in the Feather River downstream stranded thousands of fish in low-lying areas along the river channel.
Since Tuesday, crews of state biologists have combed the river banks in a frantic effort to rescue as many fish as possible. As of Thursday morning, they’d rescued more than 1,300 juvenile fall-run Chinook salmon, as well as 14 spring-run and nine winter-run Chinook, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
California’s winter-run Chinook have been listed as endangered by the federal government since 1994. Spring-run Chinook are listed as threatened.
Ryan Sabalow: 916-321-1264, @ryansabalow

Read more here: [log in for link]
 Reply by: Flyrodn      Posted: 3/13/2017 1:47:15 PM     Points: 177082    
Thanks for the post. Good information