2018 salmon season recap, by Bob Smith

Cliff HartAlerts

I just wanted to provide a quick salmon update for our HASA membership.  All in all, I would say we had a very successful ocean season within the KMZ and up and down the California and southern Oregon coast.  The San Francisco area had another banner season as party and sport boats experienced lights out fishing for the first several weeks of their shortened summer season.  We’ll be anxious to see how this affects the abundance of returning Central Valley adults.  Preliminary reports from sport anglers and guides indicate there are already plenty of fish in the Sacramento, Feather and American Rivers.

One of the things we are most excited about was the abundance of sub legal chinook in the ocean.  While a bit premature and anecdotal, this may forecast another very strong year 2 class of fish.  Time will tell as the adult fall spawners begin their upstream migration.  The first fall chinook have already arrived in the Shasta River on the upper Klamath.  The video weir was installed this past week and 35 fish were tallied in the first 7 days of operation.  These numbers will continue to build as river temperatures cool and flows increase in the tributaries.

As the Klamath River fall migration ramps up, we are hoping to see two indicators for a successful fall run.  The first is to insure that the number of returning adult natural spawners is at or above the conservation floor of 40,700 adults.  Our seasons were modeled in a way to try to achieve this very important objective.  The second critical indicator will be to hopefully see another strong showing of jacks.  This is especially important when it comes time to forecast how many three year olds will be available for harvest for the 2019 salmon season.

I will continue to provide updates from my spot on the upper Klamath as fall run increases.  Tight lines!

Bob Smith, HASA salmon representative