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Shortened Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Opens In June
salmon season pix
Chinook salmon caught off Pedro Point, San Mateo County. CDFW Photo By William Smith

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced ocean salmon season openers for additional management areas along the California coast. Although the Monterey management area opened in early April, the rest of the coast remained closed. Beginning in late June, recreational anglers will be able to drop their lines for salmon in the San Francisco, Fort Bragg and Klamath Management zones. Dates for all California management areas are as follows:

In the Klamath Management Zone, which is the area between the Oregon/California state line and 40°10’00” N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino), the season opens June 29 and continues through Aug. 1. Size limit: 20 inches total length.

The Fort Bragg Management Area, which extends from 40°10’00” N. latitude to Point Arena (38°57’30” N. latitude), opens June 29 and continues through Oct. 31. Size limit: 20 inches total length.

The San Francisco Management Area, from Point Arena to Pigeon Point (37°11’00” N. latitude), opens June 26 and continues through Oct. 31. Size limit: 20 inches total length.

The Monterey Management Area, from Pigeon Point to the U.S./Mexico border, opened on April 3 and will continue through Sept. 30. Size limit: 20 inches total length.

The daily bag limit is two Chinook salmon per day. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit. Once brought ashore, no person shall possess more than two daily bag limits. Retention of coho salmon (also known as silver salmon) is prohibited in all ocean fisheries off California.

Also, note the prior boundary line between the Fort Bragg and Klamath Management Zones has been moved five nautical miles north from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) to 40° 10’ 00” N. latitude (near Cape Mendocino). This change was made to simplify fishing regulations by aligning the salmon management boundary line with the existing groundfish management boundary line.

Pursuant to California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 1.95, ocean salmon sport fishing regulations in state waters automatically conform to federal regulations. Federal regulations for ocean salmon fisheries were published in 86 Federal Register 26425 on May 14, 2021 and were effective as of May 16, 2021.

Public notification of any in-season change is made through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Ocean Salmon Hotline. Before engaging in any fishing activity for these species, check one of the following ocean salmon resources for the most up-to-date information: CDFW Ocean Salmon page; NMFS Ocean Salmon Hotline, (800) 662-9825; CDFW Ocean Salmon Hotline, (707) 576-3429.