2002 Final Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Adopted

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News Release:  For Immediate Release

April 26, 2002

2002 Final Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Adopted

Contact: Scott Barrow, Associate Marine Biologist, (707) 431-4343
Ocean Salmon Project, (707) 431-2951
Troy Swauger, Information Officer, (916) 654-2096

SACRAMENTO - The California Fish and Game Commission has finalized its 2002 recreational ocean salmon regulations, expected to be approved effective May 1. Although the Eureka and Fort Bragg areas have less fishing time in July as compared to last year, the rest of the 2002 season is very similar.


The July closures will protect coho salmon, an endangered species.


"The outlook for this year is very good based upon ocean stock projections coupled with good early season fishing in the Santa Barbara area," said Allen Grover, senior biologist specialist. "Fishing has slowed down slightly since the San Francisco area opened on April 13 due to high coastal winds, a normal occurrence for this time of year. Despite the windy weather, there are still reports of limits being taken from Santa Barbara to Fort Bragg. It is shaping up to be a great ocean salmon season!"


Presently, most of the California coastline is open for ocean salmon fishing with the Eureka area to open on May 15. Here are the important season dates for anglers to remember:

• Eureka Area (Oregon Border to Horse Mountain)
May 15 through June 30, July 3 and 4, and Aug. 1 through Sept. 15
• Fort Bragg Area (Horse Mountain to Point Arena)
Feb. 16 through July 7, and July 20 through Nov. 17
• San Francisco Area (Point Arena to Pigeon Point)
April 13 through Nov. 10
• Monterey Area and South (Pigeon Point to Mexico Border)
March 30 through Sept. 29

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds anglers that all areas have a daily bag limit of two salmon of any species except coho (also known as silver) salmon and steelhead as the retention of coho salmon and steelhead are prohibited in any California ocean fishery. Salmon may be taken only by angling, and anglers may not use weights exceeding 4 pounds unless the line is attached by a mechanical device that releases the weight automatically when a fish is hooked.


The minimum size is 20 inches total length, and no more than six fish can be caught in seven consecutive days north of Horse Mountain, near Shelter Cove. The minimum size is 24 inches total length through April 30 and then drops to 20 inches total length for the rest of the season.


Only two single point, single shank barbless hooks and one fishing rod and/or line shall be used by an angler when fishing for salmon or fishing with salmon aboard a vessel north of Point Conception in Santa Barbara County.


The following special gear restrictions remain in effect between Point Conception and Horse Mountain for all anglers fishing with bait and angling by any means other than trolling: Anglers must use no more that two single point, single shank barbless circle hooks. A circle hook is defined as a hook with a generally circular shape and a point which turns inwards, pointing directly to the shank at a 90-degree angle. When using two hooks, the distance between the two hooks must not exceed five inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the inner base of the curve of the lower hook. Both hooks must be permanently tied in place (hard tied). Trolling is defined as angling from a boat or floating device that is making way by some source of power other than drifting by water current or weather conditions. These restrictions apply to anyone fishing for salmon or fishing with salmon aboard a vessel.


Anglers may call the Ocean Salmon Hotline at (707) 431-4341 to hear the latest California ocean salmon sport regulations. The information can also be found on DFG's Web page at www.dfg.ca.gov/mrd/oceansalmon.html.
 
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