The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved the upcoming coastal fall salmon seasons, including several fisheries for wild coho, at its meeting in Tigard.
For several years now, returns of Oregon coastal wild coho salmon have been strong enough to support limited harvest of wild coho. Under the regulations adopted today, anglers will again be able to harvest wild coho from the Nehalem, Tillamook, Nestucca, Siletz, Yaquina, Alsea, Siuslaw, Umpqua, Coos and Coquille rivers and Tenmile lakes. New experimental coho fisheries will also occur in Beaver Cr. (Lincoln Co.) and Floras Cr. (Curry Co.). Most begin on Sept. 15 and continue through November, with some exceptions.
Also new for 2013 are plans to conduct some coho fisheries based on conservative bag limits and seasons but without numeric targets or “quotas.”
“Based on our experiences with the wild coho fisheries in recent years, we’re confident we can structure some fisheries based on conservative season dates and bag limits, while remaining well within the ESA and conservation needs for wild coho,” said Chris Kern, ODFW ocean salmon manager.
Some coho fisheries will remain quota-driven, and may close before the scheduled end date if the quotas are met earlier than expected. All proposed coho fisheries must be reviewed and approved by NOAA.
The Commission also approved seasons for fall chinook that are very similar to 2012. Bag limits and area closures will be managed under permanent regulations for most South Coast rivers. On North Coast Rivers the daily bag limit of non fin-clipped chinook also will be two. However, because returns to some North Coast rivers continue to lag, the recent 10 fish seasonal aggregate limit will continue.
A complete description of the 2013 coastal salmon seasons, including open areas and wild coho quotas (as applicable), can be found on the ODFW website.