Commercial ocean troll salmon fishery seasons that were scheduled to open between March 15 and May 15 in all areas from Cape Falcon to the Oregon-California border have been cancelled for 2023, officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced March 9.
They said the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), in consultation with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the states of Oregon and California, met to take the action on scheduled commercial troll Chinook salmon openings off Oregon.
It was noted that multiple stocks of California Chinook salmon are at extremely low abundance and are projected to potentially fall below target spawning escapements.
Officials with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) said that for ocean salmon seasons for Sacramento River fall Chinook, “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), NMFS said.
Given the extremely low abundance forecast and resulting low level of allowable fishing mortality, NMFS has said that it anticipates harvest opportunity will be “substantially constrained” in the region between Cape Falcon, Oregon and Point Sur, California.
Oregon fisheries typically intercept the stocks throughout the 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 are expected to be reviewed, and a final season recommendation is planned for the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s next public meeting, scheduled for April 1-7.
Information on how to participate in the meeting is available at www.pcouncil.org.