California’s inland salmon anglers can look forward to a better salmon fishing season than last year. A projected return of 379,600 spawning Sacramento River fall-run Chinook salmon to Central Valley rivers has allowed fishery managers to return to a two salmon daily limit with four salmon in possession. This is a welcome increase over last year’s regulations, which restricted anglers to one salmon per day and two in possession.
The Klamath River fall Chinook salmon ocean abundance forecast of 274,200 adults allows anglers a daily limit of two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 22 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be greater than 22 inches.
“It is excellent that the predicted Central Valley returns are high enough to offer anglers the opportunity to take two salmon daily and four in possession,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer. “Klamath River fall Chinook salmon returns are predicted to be above average, and that should provide good angling opportunity.”
State and federal fisheries managers crafted conservative ocean seasons to return even more Sacramento fall-run Chinook salmon back to the spawning grounds than normal this fall. This is required under the federal Fisheries Management Plan because long-term stock abundance has fallen below minimum management goals after several recent years when spawning salmon returns were too low. Inland fishing seasons adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission reflect this ongoing effort to rebuild stocks while providing angling opportunity.
The following bag, possession limits and seasons were adopted by the California Fish and Game Commission at its recent meeting.
Central Valley Rivers:
Daily limit of two fish per day and a possession limit of four fish. On the American and Feather rivers, the general season opener is July 16. On the Sacramento River below Deschutes Road Bridge to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, the season opens Aug. 1 and closes Dec. 16. From below the Red Bluff Diversion Dam to the Carquinez Bridge, the season opens July 16 and closes Dec. 16. Chinook salmon fishing opportunity was expanded on the Mokelumne and Feather River. On the Feather River, the season change will extend fishing opportunity by an additional two weeks. On the Mokelumne River, almost 10 miles of additional habitat is open to salmon fishing.
Klamath River Basin:
Daily limit of two Chinook salmon, no more than one of which may be greater than 22 inches, and a possession limit of six, of which only three may be greater than 22 inches. The Klamath River adult fall run Chinook salmon quota is 7,637 adults and the season opens Aug. 15 and closes Dec. 31, while the Trinity River opens to salmon fishing on Sept. 1 and closes Dec. 31. Seasons and areas with defined sub-quotas are subject to closure once the quota is reached in each subsection.
The 2019-2020 sport seasons, dates, locations, bag limits and gear restrictions will be published in the 2019-2020 Sport Fishing Regulations Supplement, which will be posted on the CDFW website in May. Additional season information can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage or by calling CDFW’s ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the Klamath-Trinity River hotline at (800) 564-6479.