Salmon season nearly upon us

A Chinook salmon caught during a previous fishing season.

With 2019 Chinook salmon returns forecast to be below average again, fishery managers have taken action to reduce the daily and seasonal bag limit for wild adult Chinook salmon in the Nehalem River Basin, according to a report from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

Effective July 1 - Sept 15, 2019, the bag limit for adult wild Chinook salmon will be one per day and one for the season. The bag limit for jack Chinook salmon will remain five per day.

The bag limit change is prompted by measures outlined in ODFW’s Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan (CMP), which was adopted in 2014. The reduced forecast for this year, combined with low escapements observed in 2018, triggered the reduction in bag limits.

The early returning summer-run portion of the Chinook salmon population in the Nehalem River Basin is unique to the Oregon coast. The reduced bag limit during this period is a measure to protect this important part of the population.

The reduced bag limit is a necessary conservation measure to manage this population during these low run years, according to Robert Bradley, District Fish Biologist for ODFW’s North Coast Watershed District. This is the first time since the CMP was adopted that poor conditions have induced a bag limit change. Furthermore, additional in-season regulation changes may need to be considered as necessary.

Bag limit and other restrictions for fall-run Chinook salmon in Oregon coastal basins (including the Nehalem River after Sept. 15) will be announced later this summer. For more information about upcoming North Coast fishing seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at www.myodfw.com.

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