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Coho Salmon Season Closes

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in consultation with the State of Oregon, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, the State of California, and fishery representatives met via conference call and have taken the following in-season management action related to the ocean recreational non-mark selective coho salmon season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt.:

  1. An impact neutral rollover of a portion of the coho remaining from the hatchery selective summer season was made to the non-mark selective September season from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. This resulted in a net transfer of 15,500 coho and a revised quota of 40,500 coho for the season scheduled for September 1 through the earlier of the quota or September 30.

  2. The ocean recreational salmon season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. closes to the retention of coho salmon effective Sunday, September 17 at 11:59 PM. The season remains open for Chinook salmon with a daily bag limit of one salmon (24” minimum length).

A provision included in the 2023 ocean adopted regulations for ocean salmon fisheries between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mt. allows for the transfer of quota remaining from the summer hatchery selective coho season to the September non-selective coho season on an impact neutral basis. This year there are both commercial troll and recreational non-mark selective coho seasons within the area from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. The regulations this year stipulated that the transfer could be made to the recreational and/or the commercial troll seasons with a priority to the recreational season.

The approved transfer prioritizes the recreational fishery, and any remaining impacts will be held in reserve and may be transferred later in the month if fishery managers see a need to move more fish to either the recreational fishery or the commercial troll fishery. Currently, the commercial troll fishery is not approaching their quota of 10,000 coho, with catches from September 1-12 totaling 1,948 coho.

However, through Sunday, September 10 the recreational fishery has already harvested 21,402 coho out of their quota of 25,000 and a need exists to access some of the remaining available impacts. The most constraining stock in the transfer to the recreational fishery this season is the Oregon Coast Natural Coho, and the preseason impact rates on OCN coho are not exceeded by this transfer. Forecasting the coho harvest for the week starting on September 11 indicates that there is a reasonable likelihood that the revised quota may be met by the end of the week.

Managers agreed that the best approach is to close the fishery to retention of coho at the end of Sunday, and then evaluate the status of the catches again early next week to determine if any more days can be added back to the fishery in September. A conference call is being planned for late afternoon on Tuesday, September 19 to evaluate the status of the quota and potential for reopening additional days in September.

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