Oregon To Allow Limited Salmon Fishing


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 20, 2008

Oregon fisheries officials say river fishing will be allowed this year for salmon, although with tight limits.

Steve Williams, assistant fish division administrator at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, told The Oregonian newspaper in Portland that limits on seasons and catches will be more restrictive than in years past.

"There's going to be fishing, but it's not going to be business as usual," Williams said. State officials will hold community meetings next month to determine how to maintain fishing while minimizing pressure on the salmon expected to return to rivers.

Experts are uncertain about what caused the collapse in West Coast salmon populations. Some marine scientists attribute the declines in part to unusual weather patterns that have disrupted the marine food chain along the Pacific Coast in recent years.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is considering complete closures to salmon fisheries in California and Oregon. Last year's run of 90,414 chinook salmon was the lowest since 1973. The juvenile count hit an all-time low of only 2,000 fish, which does not bode well for 2008 returns.

A full closure of the salmon fisheries has never taken place on the West Coast.

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