View Full Version : Open again after 3 years

03-30-2010, 10:32 AM
Recreational salmon fishing returns Saturday for first time in three years

By Kurtis Alexander (kalexander@santacruzsentinel.com?subject=Santa Cruz Sentinel: Recreational salmon fishing returns Saturday for first time in three years)

Tackle shop owner Todd Fraser has spent a long time preparing for the coming weekend. He's dusted off his rods and reels, stocked his supply of bait and beer and set up a telephone hotline that reports the latest fishing conditions.

"I've been waiting three years for this," said Fraser, owner of Bayside Marine at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor.
Saturday is the opening of the recreational salmon season. It marks the first time since 2007 that fishing for the celebrated fish will be allowed off the California coast.

For sport fishermen, it's a chance to get back on the water after the conservation-driven closure. For commercial fisherman, whose season has yet to be scheduled, it's hope that they, too, might be allowed to return to sea soon, should the recreational catch prove plentiful.

"We're waiting to see this weekend, when the sporties go out, what they'll come back with," said Mike Stiller, president of the Santa Cruz Commercial Fishermen's Association.
Word around the docks is that the fishing might be good. The fleet now catching halibut, tuna and sanddabs reports a lot of krill, a favorite food of salmon, and fishermen say they've already started reeling in, accidently, the popular salmon.

"It sounds like there's a few fish around," said Jim Rubin, who runs Captain Jimmy Charters out of the harbor.
Rubin's fishing trips, which start Saturday at dawn with a ride eight miles out to the Soquel Canyon,
are nearly booked through the month with people hopeful the salmon season will return in force.

The season is tentatively scheduled through the end of April. In the middle of the month, however, fishery regulators will convene to consider extending the sport season as well as make a decision about commercial fishing.

Despite lower counts of adult chinook in the Sacramento River -- one of Northern California's largest salmon runs -- authorities have let on that the commercial salmon season may open, albeit in a restricted form. Of the three options being considered, one would open the season in the Monterey Bay area in May while another would open it in July. The third option would keep it closed.
"We're hoping the population is on the rebound," said Joe Duran, an associate biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game. Among the factors playing into Duran's projection is the rising number of young fish.

Last year, regulators counted 9,000 "jacks," or juvenile salmon, on the Sacramento run, up from 4,000 in 2008 and 2,000 in 2007.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council, in concert with state regulators, is expected to make a decision about the commercial season by April 15.

Beyond affecting several dozen salmon fishermen in the Santa Cruz and Moss Landing harbors, the April decision will affect a whole industry that includes local restaurants, supply shops and boating businesses. Federal disaster relief funds have already been set aside for the industry.


03-30-2010, 08:05 PM
I'm glad I don't live out there. If they shut down striped bass here for 3 years I would go nuts! Even though it's salmon and not bass they shut down, it must have damaged a lot of businesses economically.