Pacific Salmon Season in Peril

Incredibly low stocks prompt action from federal agency
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2008 4:30 PM CDT
The waters of Upper Klamath Lake and the closed water headgate, located in the inlet at lower right, part of the Klamath Basin, are shown in Klamath Falls, Ore., in this July 14, 2001 file photo. (AP...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A shortage of salmon in the waters along the Pacific coast has driven regulators to consider a ban on salmon-fishing this season, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Pacific Fishery Management Council has never recommended canceling the season before, and about 1,000 commercial fishermen could see their livelihood devastated by a final decision, due in April.

The council counted only 63,900 salmon in California's Sacramento River during last fall's run—well short of the 122,000 threshold for fishing—and indicators suggest lower numbers ahead. "The Sacramento fish are our bread and butter, and there are not even any crumbs,” said one fisherman. “It means half or more of my income is not going to be there at all."