The commercial ocean troll salmon fishery seasons scheduled to be open between March 15 and May 15 in all areas from Cape Falcon to the Oregon-California border are canceled for 2023, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced March 9.
In a statement explaining the rational for its decision, ODFW said that 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 for 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’,” ODFW said in its announcement.
For Klamath River fall Chinook, the Fisheries Service guidance is that a precautionary approach “is warranted and underscores the need to carefully consider the factors described in setting the exploitation rate,” according to ODFW.
Given the extremely low abundance forecast and resulting low level of allowable fishing mortality, NMFS has anticipated that harvest opportunity will be substantially constrained between Cape Falcon, Oregon and Point Sur, California.
Oregon fisheries typically intercept these stocks throughout the entire area 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, fish & Wildlife said, with season alternatives expected to be reviewed. A final season recommendation is anticipated being made at the April Pacific Fishery Management Council public meeting schedule for March 31 through April 7.
Interested members of the public can visit www.pcouncil.org for information on how to participate in the meeting.