Klamath King Salmon Quota Bumped

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Region 1 News -- Klamath Quota Bumped
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Contact: Paul Wertz   (530) 225-2362

KLAMATH QUOTA BUMPED

REDDING--Klamath River sport anglers will enjoy one of the more generous sets of fall king salmon fishing regulations of the past 20 years if freshly revised rules being proposed by the Department of Fish and Game are approved by the state Fish and Game Commission.

DFG officials said their latest projections of ocean salmon abundance coupled with expected effects of new federal Endangered Species Act listings have resulted in a recommendation that the commission this year adopt a sport quota for the Klamath-Trinity river system that lies somewhere between 11,800 and 46,500 adult chinook.

Last year's quota was 4,200 adult, fall-run king salmon for the entire Klamath basin. Before working up new data, the DFG suggested a range for this year of between 2,100 and 8,400 adult fish.

The state commission will vote on Klamath-Trinity regulations at a public meeting April 6 in Monterey. The rule adoption is expected to fit within recommendations coming from the federal Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Fish and Game biologists said last year's return of king salmon to the Klamath and Trinity rivers was unusually strong, breaking records at both Iron Gate Hatchery on the Klamath River northeast of Yreka and Trinity River Hatchery at Lewiston. Field observations indicated the numbers of natural stocks reaching stream spawning habitat also were high.

The 2000 king salmon migration--dominated by three-year-old fish--apparently was the result of an exceptional production and survival of juvenile salmon by wild and hatchery spawners within the Klamath basin in the fall of 1997. This year's run is expected to include a large number of four-year-old salmon from that same production year, the DFG said.

Another factor behind the prediction of a healthy fall run of Klamath salmon is the presence of federally listed species of salmon from other river systems that mix with Klamath fish in the ocean. Although not listed, the Klamath stocks enjoy the protections afforded other species.

In addition to the higher quota, Fish and Game said it is recommending that commissioners approve three other changes for 2001--a daily bag limit of three king salmon, two of them adult fish; a weekly limit of six adult salmon; and, a possession limit of 12 king salmon, six of them adult fish over 22 inches.

In recent years, the daily limit has wavered between one and two adult fish with a weekly limit of four and a possession limit of eight fish that could include no more than four salmon over 22 inches.

In the wake of the new data projecting a second year of an improved salmon migration into the Klamath River system, Fish and Game also said it is recommending that the state commission make no changes in last year's regulations for fishing on the lower Klamath, especially at the mouth. Tighter rules are not expected to be necessary this year to assure that fishing for adult salmon will extend through Labor Day Weekend, the agency said.

Representatives of the DFG and the commission will receive public comment on proposed sport fishing regulations for the Klamath-Trinity at two meetings scheduled to be held this month in Crescent City and Weaverville.

The 7 p.m. hearings will take place on Monday, March 26, in the Board of

Supervisors chambers, 981 H Street, Crescent City, and on Tuesday, March 27, in the Library, 211 North Main Street, Weaverville.
 

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