San Francisco, CA

Short Salmon: No more fishy fish in the San Francisco area due to de-watering by Big Ag.

Geoffrey Greer

You have to be at least 24 inches.

Uh oh. Recreational ocean salmon fishing has been curtailed on most of the California coast. The Sacramento River and Klamath River are both recovering from poor stock assessments.

Ocean fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California are being managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). The PFMC committee has proposed several alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries. It will make a final decision on salmon fishing at its meeting in Vancouver, Washington on April 5-10.

Recreational fishermen will experience a season loss of 40% of their typical season, while commercial fishermen may lose up to two-thirds of their usual fish catch.

California's recreational fishing season will open on Saturday, April 3 in the Monterey management area. The season will close on June 30.

These closures are happening while the Delta Tunnel and a voluntary agreement between Big Ag and government agencies are being finalized. These plans will make things dramatically worse for Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta smelt and other fish populations.

The PFMC is taking steps to ensure that enough salmon will return to rivers this season to meet the spawner abundance goals. The forecasts for both Klamath and Sacramento have changed for the worse.

The government has drawn attention to the continued decline in Central Valley coho salmon stocks. The key reason for the decline is the drought, which is caused by the expansion of water-intensive almond tree acreage in the San Joaquin Valley over the past decade.

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