The proposed 2014 ocean salmon seasons announced by the Pacific Fishery Management Council this week include good news for both sport anglers and commercial troll salmon fishermen off the Oregon Coast.
Recreational and commercial troll Chinook salmon fishing this year looks to vary from good to great based on forecasted adult returns destined for key river basins of the Columbia River, the Central Valley in California, and the Klamath River. Although fishery managers are forecasting returns to the Central Valley and Klamath River fall Chinook to be well below the 2013 totals, they should be abundant enough to result in good Chinook catches along the entire Oregon Coast.
Managers are predicting tremendous runs of Chinook are forecast to return to the Columbia River later this summer and this should provide for some great fishing both in the ocean and the Columbia River in August.
Thanks to much improved hatchery and naturally produced Coho populations, the 2014 ocean Coho seasons should provide the most time on the water for Coho fishing since the 2010 season. Mark selective fishing for hatchery Coho beginning in late June is expected to be very good along the Oregon Coast, especially from Bandon up to the Columbia River. The Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. non-selective Coho season will open on August 30 to coincide with Labor Day weekend.
“We are expecting a very good Coho season this year, and, if the stars line up just right off the Oregon Coast, Chinook fishing could be even better than last year, ” said Chris Kern, ODFW administrator for ocean salmon fisheries. “This should be a great year to be out on the ocean.”
Sport anglers and commercial troll fishermen already have been fishing along the Oregon Coast south of Cape Falcon, and fishery managers have been hearing of good ocean Chinook catches from waters offshore from Newport to Bandon, according to Eric Schindler, ODFW ocean salmon project leader.
“Our season is already off to a good start, and should only get better from this point on,” he said.
Summary of the Ocean Seasons Adopted by PFMC:
• North of Cape Falcon to Leadbetter Pt., Washington
o Recreational season for hatchery fin-clipped Chinook from May 31-June 13 (9,000 coastwide quota).
o Recreational season for all salmon from June 14-Sept. 30 with a 2 fish limit, of which only 1 can be a Chinook and all Coho must be fin-clipped. Quota of 92,400 Coho with 13,100 Chinook guideline.
o Commercial troll salmon seasons are similar to last year, but will have larger quotas. Seasons will start on May 1 for Chinook and July 1 for hatchery Coho and continue through the earlier of September 16 or quota.
• South of Cape Falcon
o Sport Chinook from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt. open March 15 through Oct. 31, and from Humbug Mt. to the OR/CA border open May 10 through Sept. 7.
o Sport fin-clipped Coho open June 21-August 10 (quota of 80,000 Coho ) from Cape Falcon south to OR/CA Border
o Sport non-selective Coho from Aug. 30 through Sept. with a quota of 20,000. Open from Cape Falcon south to Humbug Mt.
o Commercial troll Chinook salmon seasons from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. that provide for full fishing from April 1 through July 31, Aug.6-29, and fall fishing with weekly trip limits of 65 Chinook from Sept.3 through Oct. 31.
o Commercial troll Chinook salmon seasons from Humbug Mt. to OR/CA border from April 1 through May 31 without trip limits or quotas, and then June 15-30, July 1-31, Aug. 6-29, and Sept. 12-27 seasons managed by quota and daily trip limits.
The regulations adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council this week cover ocean waters from three to 200 miles from the state’s shore. In late April, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be asked to consider concurrent regulations for Oregon’s territorial water that extend three miles from the shoreline. The regulations must also be approved by the National Marine Fishery Service and the Secretary of Commerce.