Let’s go fishin’!

Salmon-season kickoff

The California Fish and Game Commission and the Pacific Fishery Management Council officially marked April 2 as “opening day” for California ocean salmon fishing. The date was chosen based on scientific data showing that the Sacramento River fall chinook salmon ocean population has reached beyond 700,000—almost three times more than last year.

The opening date applies to waters starting at the U.S.-Mexico border and headed north to Horse Mountain near Cape Mendocino. Waters northward likely will open in May. Fishing of coho and steelhead salmon remains prohibited.

Salmon fishing in recent years has been limited due to a low return rate in the Sacramento River Basin. In the fall of 2009, an all-time low of 39,500 adult chinook returned. This past fall, about three times as many fish (125,300) returned. It’s the highest number since 2006. For more information, visit www.fdg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp.