The California Department of Fish and Game has finally made their announcement that fishing for salmon is going to be allowed for all the sport anglers and fishermen who are wanting to put their fishing poles in the water this year. It was a very long and drawn out process to get things all squared away, but the fish seem to be doing well and its time to go salmon fishing in April.
Several members of the Department of Fish and Game testified in Sacramento early last week and there were also many reports this week that the King Salmon that are out in the Pacific off the California Coast are well above the numbers they have been in the previous years. It is thought that there might be more than 750,000 king salmon roaming the salt waters off the coast right now.
This is great news for all the local salmon fishermen who have been banned from fishing in recent years. Along with the news, it is expected to be the biggest opening day of California Salmon Sport Fishing in history this year. There has been a bit of a scare in some parts of the coast recently due to the tsumani warnings from a few days ago, but that has for the most part died down. The harbors all along the coast are getting ready and the local bait and tackle shops are stocking up to fulfill the needs of the salmon fishermen as well. You should start shopping around for frozen sardines and anchovies to catch the salmon with, because they just may be in short supply come April.
The Department of Fish and Game in California is holding an open meeting for the public to join in on. It will be held on March 1, 2011 at the Sonoma County Water Agency. The time of the meeting is from 11:00 AM until 2:30pm. The meeting is meant to be a place for the public to talk about the upcoming decisions to open the 2011 Salmon Fishing Season. The salmon fishery is right in the middle of a very complicated time right now. There will be biologists presenting data on the recent salmon runs up the rivers, and there will also be information discussed from other members of the Department of Fish and Game.
Some of the positive news expected to be talked about involves the high numbers of spawning salmon that were recently recorded in the Sacramento River and Klamath River. The actual numbers of salmon that were found were higher than what was previously expected, and the numbers looked to be a good sign that the 2010 salmon runs were at a higher level than in the previous years. It is very difficult to estimate what is going to happen in terms of the opening of the 2011 California Salmon Season, but now the expectation is that come either April or May 1st, there will be a definite sport fishing season, but the exact parameters of the commercial fishing remains unclear.
Usually, the different groups who decide on the Pacific Salmon Fishing regulations and Salmon Seasons actually take much more time developing the commercial fishing rules compared to the sport salmon fishing. The quotas and the time and locations that can be salmon fished are all determined by an international mixed organization group of professionals who literally spend their life thinking about the salmon.
If you have interest in the future of the salmon fishing in the state of California, you are encouraged to visit the Salmon Fishing meeting with the DFG. It will be an open forum for anyone interested party to raise their questions about the salmon season.
California Salmon Fishing Outlook for 2011
It is a gross understatement to say that the anglers are excited for some more salmon fishing this year. It has been way too long since a normal fishing season has taken place, and the fish boxes have been sitting empty for months now. There is still a bit of paperwork to go with the California Department of Fish and Game, but things are still getting closer to a new fishing season.
The Current Salmon Stock Levels
According to the most recent reports from the rivers and the river mouths, the salmon levels are higher than they have been in years, and the water levels are looking very good too which will mean great swimming up river later in the year. What is still in question are some of the rules and regulations for commercial and sport fisherman. There are several different unconfirmed reports that the legal daily catch limit for sport fisherman may go down to 1 fish per person. That is not the best news, but that is still better than no fishing at all. The quota and catch limits and sizes for commercial fishing is also way up in the air at the moment. Some of the difficulty in determining these numbers is based on the unknown number of commercial fisherman who will actively be pursuing the salmon in 2011. With the salmon season being closed for so long, nobody knows who is actually still fishing. To make matters worse, many of the commercial fisherman are so hard to get ahold of via phone or email, it is left as a big guessing game.
Plenty of Food For the Salmon to Feed On in the Ocean
For those of the fishermen who are really wanting to catch a monster trophy salmon off the California coast this year, your dream has a good chance of coming true. Researchers from the Marine Biology department at University of California at Santa Cruz have been studying the local krill and other salmon bait populations. Their reports show huge populations of prime bait and squid off the California coast this year. Much more than has been recorded over the previous 4 years. This all brings the excitement level for fishermen to an even higher level. The one hard part of the salmon fishing this year might be deciding on when to take your fish and put it in the ice box. If you are only allowed one fish per day, and you want to catch an extra big salmon, you will need to make some tough decisions on when to throw back the fish or keep it. That is a great fishing dilemma to have during California’s 2011 Salmon Fishing Season.
2011 Salmon Fishing Outlook:
It still is quite early, but the preliminary numbers on the salmon runs are getting everyone excited from Washington and Oregon down to California. It looks like the salmon this year are finally coming back in big amounts. The salmon counts have been exponentially larger compared to the last five years and this is definitely reason to get excited about the possible salmon fishing coming up soon.
The local departments of Fish and Game have not made any direct announcements concerning the commercial and sport salmon fishing seasons yet, but they are expected to start talking about the exact numbers they are seeing within the coming weeks. As for locals who are more anxious than normal to hear the news, well, they too are excited.
For the past several years, the numbers of Pacific salmon has gone down to levels not seen before. This had many people concerned and worried that there would be some eventual never ending shut down of the salmon season. But the fish and game people have somehow found a way to slow the fishing and now it is looking like the seasons might come back once again.
There have been tremendous efforts to farm raise and hatchery raise salmon and then to turn them into the rivers, however this does not always end up benefiting the fisherman or the fish and it is difficult to measure any of this success quickly and accurately. In just a little while longer, everyone will have a much more clear view on the salmon fishing season for 2011.