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All-time Low Expected for Sacremento Chinook

by Ellen Hardy
03 March 2008, at 12:00am

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pacific Fishery Management Council says that Sacramento's Chinook salmon abundance will fall to an alltime low this autumn.

While its latest report does not yet forecast an exact number of Sacramento River fall Chinook, the information infers that total abundance to be near the low end of the spawning goal range in 2008, even if all ocean and freshwater fisheries are closed.

The spawning goal of 122,000 to 180,000 is the optimal number of adult fish returning to hatcheries and natural spawning areas for the long term productivity of the stock.

"This is very bad news for West Coast salmon fisheries. The word disastercomes immediately to mind, and I mean a disaster much worse than the Klamath fishery disaster of 2006," said Pacific Council Chairman Don Hansen.

The Pacific Council will begin the process of setting 2008 ocean salmon seasons at its meeting March 9 – 14 in Sacramento, California, where it will develop up to three options for public review. Final Council action on 2008 ocean salmon commercial and recreational seasons will occur at its April 7 – 12 meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Biological Information

Sacramento River salmon are primarily caught off California and Oregon, but are also found off Washington and as far north as British Columbia. They are typically one of the healthiest and most abundant stocks on the west coast, and are the dominant contributor to both commercial and recreational fisheries off California and most of Oregon. Sacramento River fall Chinook are not listed under the Endangered Species Act, like Sacramento Winter Run Chinook and some other California stocks.

For more information visit the Pacific Fishery Management Council website

Ellen Hardy