PFMC Adopts 2024 Ocean Salmon Fishing Closures For California For The Second Year In A Row

After the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended an ocean salmon season closure for the second consecutive year, Marci Yaremko of CDFW officially proposed a closure that was unamiously adopted by the council.

James Stone, president of the NorCal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, earlier provided public testimony regarding the closure following the letter sent to the council from CDFW director Charlton Bonham.

“I think everyone wants to fish… whether you’re in the ocean, whether you’re up in the (Klamath Management Zone) or you’re down in Morro Bay, whether you’re a commercial or inland angler, everybody wants to go fishing,” Stone said. “I think it’s more important that we continually educate our general public about these types of numbers and the past history so we don’t repeat ourselves.”

Stone cited a similar collapse in Chinook stocks back in 2008 and 2009, which was also “very destructive to our industry.”

“And now we’re in that same pattern, and so we’re hoping that angler enthusiasm picks up as head into 2025 and beyond. And hopefully we have better Days ahead of us.”

Stone also voiced his frustration about the devastating effects these closures have had on the industry, which included his own struggles that cause him to give up his guiding career.

”I work on salmon 365 days of my job. I want you to know that I used to be a full-time fishing guide. That’s all I did. I fished for a living,” he said. “I went out of business, got put out of business by all these low returns. I’ve watched many others go out of business also. Luckily I’m one of the people who has a job so we can return the fishery back to what it once was… I’ll be leaving here working on salmon – tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, next year. That’s all I do.”

Cal Matters also posted about the closures:

Salmon abundance forecasts for the year “are just too low,” Marci Yaremko, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s appointee to the Pacific Fishery Management Council, said last week. “While the rainfall and the snowpacks have improved, the stocks and their habitats just need another year to recover.”

Stone said that inland fishing would also be shut down in the next 30 days.