The Pacific Fisheries Management Council has shortened both the sport and commercial salmon seasons, according to Michael Coats, representing the Golden Gate Salmon Association.
This means that the ocean sport fishing season is cut by one third, and commercial salmon fishing season is cut in half.
The group attributes the salmon season slashing to the death of 95 to 98 percent of natural spawned eggs dying in “overheated Sacramento River spawning beds during the drought in 2015,” leaving “very few surviving natural origin baby salmon that year.”
Those babies would have grown up in the Pacific Ocean to be adults who would theoretically return to spawn if they weren’t caught by fishers.
Golden Gate Salmon Association president John McManus said, “This could have been avoided if more water had been reserved to keep the Sacramento (River) cool enough to support spawning salmon.”
He hopes this won’t be repeated in the next drought, whenever that might be.
Bottom line: The price of both wild and farmed salmon in retail fish counters went up immediately.