CDFW Seeking Public Comment On Allocating Federal Funding For 2023 Salmon Closures

The following press release is courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Fall-run chinook salmon in the American River just below the Nimbus Hatchery in Gold River, California on November 18, 2023. (CDFW Photo/Travis VanZant)

Federal Funding Allocated for California 2023 Salmon Fishing Disaster; CDFW Seeks Public Input on Spending Plan

On April 6, 2023, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) acted unanimously to recommend a full closure of California’s 2023 commercial and recreational ocean salmon seasons due to extremely low population estimates for Sacramento and Klamath river fall Chinook salmon. Within hours of the recommendation, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his administration’s request for a federal fishery disaster declaration to support impacted communities.

The U. S. Secretary of Commerce approved this request on Oct. 30, 2023, which began the process of providing federal assistance to communities and businesses impacted by the disaster. On Feb. 15, 2024, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was notified that $20,625,729 had been allocated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to respond to the disaster. Following the announcement of fund allocation, and with support and input from industry representatives, CDFW developed the draft 2023 Salmon Disaster Spend Plan to distribute these disaster funds.

CDFW invites the public to submit comments on the draft 2023 Salmon Disaster Spend Plan. CDFW is asking for input on the proposed allocations of relief funding to fishing sectors, qualifying criteria, individual payouts and other components of the plan. Following the comment period, CDFW will finalize the plan for submission to the Department of Commerce. Comments may be provided via email through 5 p.m., April 19, 2024, at

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, the PFMC will consider the alternatives for the 2024 salmon seasons at its meeting April 5-11 in Seattle. This meeting is open to the public. Although returns of Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon are higher than last year, they are still well below historic averages. The Newsom Administration stands ready to seek additional federal fishery disaster assistance should California’s iconic salmon fisheries and fishing communities continue to be impacted into 2024.

More information about federal fishery disaster relief and ocean salmon fishing seasons is available on the CDFW website. More information about the PFMC and the public meeting on April 5-11 in Seattle is available on the PFMC website.