After the devastating but necessary decision to close ocean king salmon fishing for this season, the California Fish and Game Commission announced proposed changes to Klamath/Trinity Rivers and Central Valley salmon fishing. Here’s a breakdown, starting with the Klamath:
Because the PFMC recommendations are not known at this time, ranges are shown in [brackets] in the proposed regulatory text below of bag and possession limits which encompass historical quotas. All are proposed for the 2023 KRFC fishery in the Klamath and Trinity rivers.
The final KRFC bag and possession limits will align with the final federal regulations to meet biological and fishery allocation goals specified in law or established in the FMP.
KRFC Adult Stocks (Sport Fishery Quota Management)
Quota: For public notice requirements, the Department recommends the Commission consider a quota range of [0–67,600] adult KRFC in the Klamath River Basin for the in-river sport fishery. This recommended range encompasses the historical range of the Klamath River Basin allocations and allows PFMC and Commission to make adjustments during the 2023 regulatory cycle.
Subquotas: The proposed subquotas for KRFC stocks are as follows:
1. Main stem Klamath River from 3,500 feet downstream of the Iron Gate Dam to the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec — 17 percent of the total quota equates to [0-11,492];
2. Main stem Klamath River downstream of the Highway 96 bridge at Weitchpec to the mouth — 50 percent of the total quota equates to [0-33,800];
3. Main stem Trinity River downstream of the Old Lewiston Bridge to the Highway 299 West bridge at Cedar Flat — 16.5 percent of the total quota equates to [0-11,154]; and
4. Main stem Trinity River downstream of the Denny Road bridge at Hawkins Bar to the confluence with the Klamath River — 16.5 percent of the total quota equates to [0-11,154].
Seasons: No changes are proposed for the Klamath River and Trinity River KRFC seasons:
- Klamath River – August 15 to December 31
- Trinity River – September 1 to December 31 Bag and Possession Limits: As in previous years, no retention of adult KRFC is proposed once the subquota has been met.
And now for Central Valley fisheries:
Notice of Proposed Changes in Regulations
Sacramento River Fishing Boundary Revision
On the Sacramento River between the Dechutes Road Bridge and the Highway 113 bridge (i.e., subsections 7.40(b)(80)(C) and (D)), the Department is proposing to move the geographic fishing boundary from Red Bluff Diversion Dam (river mile 244) to Woodson Bridge (river mile 220). All of the SRFC spawning tributaries and the vast majority of the mainstem SRFC spawning habitat is located upstream of Woodson Bridge. Moving the fishing boundary to Woodson Bridge is necessary to allow adults escaping the fishery to stage unmolested below their natal tributaries, reducing overall harvest
rates but still providing recreational opportunity within productive historic fishing grounds below Woodson Bridge.
Sacramento River Late-Fall Run Fishery Opportunity
On the Sacramento River between Dechutes Road Bridge and Woodson Bridge (i.e., subsection 7.40(b)(80)(C)), the Department is proposing to split the current fishing season of August 1 through December 31 into two separate seasons from August 1 through October 31 and November 1 through December 31. The majority of SRFC spawning occurs above Woodson Bridge from August through October. This split season will allow for better management options for SRFC and Sacramento River late-fall-run Chinook Salmon (SRLFC) populations. Fall-run spawner escapement surveys conducted by the Department indicate that SRFC spawn in the Sacramento River, and its tributaries, above Woodson Bridge at least through November.Spawning by late-fall-run Chinook Salmon follows shortly thereafter.
Chinook Salmon Bag and Possession Limits
The Department recognizes the uncertainty of SRFC in-river harvest projections. Therefore, for the 2023 Central Valley fishery, the Department is presenting four regulatory options for the Commission’s consideration to tailor 2023 Central Valley fishery management to target 2023 in-river fisheries harvest projections. The Commission may adopt these options for each river section independently, or in combination to meet PFMC SRFC management objectives and maximize recreational salmon fishing opportunities in the Central Valley
- Option 1 is the most liberal of the options, and allows take of any size Chinook Salmon up to the daily bag and possession limits.
- Option 2 allows for take of a limited number of adult Chinook Salmon, with grilse Chinook Salmon (two-year old salmon) making up the remainder of the daily bag and possession limits.
- Option 3 is the more conservative option, and allows for a grilse-only Chinook Salmon fishery.
- Option 4 is the most conservative option, and prohibits the take and possession of Chinook Salmon in all anadromous areas of and tributaries to the American, Feather, Mokelumne, and Sacramento rivers.
All options would be applicable to the following river segments and time periods: American River, subsection 7.40(b)(4):
Feather River, subsection 7.40(b)(43):
- (B) From the USGS gauging station cable crossing near Nimbus Hatchery to the SMUD power line crossing the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park, July 16 through October 31
- (C) From the SMUD power line crossing at the southwest boundary of Ancil Hoffman Park to the Jibboom Street bridge, July 16 through December 31
- (D) From the Jibboom Street bridge to the mouth, July 16 through December 16
(D) From the unimproved boat ramp above the Thermalito Afterbay Outfall to 200 yards above 2
the Live Oak boat ramp, July 16 through October 31
(E) From 200 yards above the Live Oak boat ramp to the mouth, July 16 through December 16
Mokelumne River, subsection 7.40(b)(66):
- (A) From Comanche Dam to Elliott Road, July 16 through October 15
- (B) From Elliott Road to the Woodbridge Irrigation District Dam and including Lodi Lake, July 16 through December 31
(D) From the Lower Sacramento Road bridge to the mouth, July 16 through December 16 Sacramento River below Keswick Dam, subsection 7.40(b)(80):
(C) From Deschutes Road bridge to Woodson Bridge, August 1 through October 31, and November 1 through December 31.
- (D) From Woodson Bridge to the Highway 113 bridge, July 16 through December 16.
- (E) From the Highway 113 bridge to the Carquinez Bridge, July 16 through December 16.