2002 Albacore outlook for SoCal


Mar 11, 2001
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Dave Strege, Orange Couty Register


Albacore outlook: If there is such a thing as a normal year, 2002 appears to be setting up to be one.

Ron Dotson, research fishery biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla, has examined forecast models for oceanographic conditions in the equatorial Pacific and they are calling for basically neutral conditions.

"There will be possibly a mild El Nino event in the next six to nine months, but it's so mild that it's not likely to have any major or even minor oceanographic affect on our local conditions," Dotson said.

"I know everybody keeps saying, 'Well, they're predicting an El Nino for next year,' but the degree of the warming they're looking at is only one degree centigrade equatorially and that's not considered major."

What does it mean? Considering the solid stocks of albacore, another good season is expected, beginning in June or July.

Dotson anticipates a decent run of medium-sized fish in the 12- to 14-pound range, based on all the smaller longfins that showed in 2001. He also predicts that the 20- and 30-pounders of 2001 will return in the 40-pound range.

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