The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) today postponed the opening of California’s sport salmon ocean fishing season until May 1. NMFS acted after discussions with the State of California and salmon fishing representatives to the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The decision was based on the belief that few sport fishermen and women would fish in April. Virtually all boat launch ramps providing access to salmon waters have been closed by local authorities. Commercial passenger fishing vessels (party boats) and “six-pack” charters are expected to be unable to operate under the state’s social distancing rules.
The April closure will reduce take of some salmon (Klamath) and may allow additional time to be added later in the season.
Any further changes will be discussed at the upcoming April meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
In addition, sources close to the California Fish and Game Commission report the Commission has scheduled a call for next week to discuss California’s sport fishery in relation to the ongoing virus threat.