The closure covers this years season, the only exception being made for a selective recreational fishery for coho salmon in Oregon.
Dan Wolford, PFMC member and Coastside Fishing Club Science Director said the fishery closure will extend from Cape Falcon in northern Oregon to the US-Mexico border.
This complete closure is unprecedented since commercial fishing begin in California in 1848. The decision was made because of the "unprecedented collapse" of Central Valley salmon stocks. The Sacramento River fall chinook population, until recently the most robust West Coast salmon run, was the driver of West Coast salmon fisheries.
Around, 775,000 adults returned to spawn in 2002, but stocks have fallen and this year even with all ocean salmon fishing closures, the return of fall run chinook to the Sacramento is projected to be only 54,000 fish.
"It was a very emotional day," said Wolford. "We until the end were considering the possibility of doing a genetic stock assessment of chinook stocks to be conducted by commercial fishermen in a catch and release fishery. However, the Council determined that the hooking mortality caused to Central Valley chinooks wouldn't be justified, since every fish is so important when the numbers of salmon are so low."
The Council also voted against any option for a fishery in the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) on California's North Coast because of the estimated mortality of Sacramento River salmon that would occur.
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