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2023 Commercial and Sport Chinook Season in Jeopardy

by Bob Garbarino

On March 10th the Pacific Fisheries Management Council adopted proposals that will close Chinook fishing for 2023. They will reconvene on April 7 and will vote to finalize their decision on the sport and commercial season for California marine and inland waters as well as off most of the Oregon coast. In addition, three organizations that represent commercial and sport fishing professionals are also recommending closing the season: Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association, the Golden Gate Fishermen’s Association and the Northern California Guides and Sportsmen’s Association. Some members of these organizations predict the 2024 season will be closed as well. The last time fishing was cancelled was in 2008 and 2009. This year, only 169,767 adult Sacramento River fall run chinook are estimated to be offshore this year. Last year the estimate was 396,458. Ten years ago the numbers were in the 800,000 range. In 2022, only an estimated 61,850 fish made it to spawn in the Sacramento River—the 3rd lowest recorded. Hostile conditions, brought on by extreme heat, state and federal water control policies, thiamine deficiency—to name a few—all contribute to the low numbers of fish surviving.
I know many—if not all—of our club members are staying informed on important issues like this, and support many local, state and beyond conservation organizations. As you may be aware, our club allocates a substantial portion of our budget to support many organizations fighting for the future of out beautiful sport. Whenever you have an opportunity to weigh-in on issues such as the one in this article, I urge you to let your voice be heard. Thank you for all you do to support SCCF!

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