Officials in California have issued a ban on salmon fishing anywhere along the state’s coast for the remainder of the season, as the state’s yearslong drought is still taking its toll on the once-abundant fish population.
In a recent announcement, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said salmon fisheries that were originally scheduled to open on April 1 would remain closed through May 15. The decision came as part of a broader effort, involving state agencies in Oregon as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service, to cancel ocean salmon fishing along much of the coast — from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the U. S.-Mexico border.
For California, the ban aims to protect the Chinook species of salmon, which previously inhabited several of the state’s largest rivers and in recent years have been seen in dwindling numbers.
Thanks to multiple atmospheric river storms in California, rivers on land are roaring but the effects of years of drought are now being seen on the salmon population, CBS Bay Area reported. Last year, just 60,000 of the adult fish returned to the Sacramento River to spawn, officials said. This was a small fraction of the 196,000 fish expected there, and approached a record annual low for the area, according to the fish and wildlife department. Officials are also hoping that the fishing ban will prevent the Chinook population from decreasing further in the Klamath River, which is also threatened…. (Read more)