Fish & Game Commission Announces Full Closure Of Recreational Salmon Fishing Season

The only Salmon that will be legally caught in California this season will have to be caught at a fish market. After near-record low numbers of the fish returned to California’s rivers last year, the California Fish and Game Commission has enacted a full closure of recreational Salmon fishing in the Klamath River Basin, the Trinity River, the Smith and Eel Rivers, and all the rivers of the Central Valley, including the Sacramento, Feather, American and Mokelumne Rivers. This follows a decision last month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for the closure of the 2023 season for all commercial and most recreational fishing of Chinook along the coast from Northern Oregon to the California-Mexico border. Biologists say the Chinook Salmon population has declined dramatically after years of drought. Many in the fishing industry say Trump-era rules that allowed more water to be diverted from the Sacramento River Basin to agriculture caused even more harm. After hatching in freshwater, Chinook spend three years on average maturing in the Pacific before migrating back to their spawning grounds. Experts fear native California Salmon are in a spiral toward extinction. Already California’s spring-run Chinook are listed as threatened, while Winter-Run Chinook are endangered.