New Salmon and Steelhead Regulations on Klamath and Trinity

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California SteelheadNew fishing regulations to increase the possession limit of returning adult fall-run Chinook salmon from four to six along the Klamath River system become effective Aug. 15. The California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations increasing the possession limit at their June 28, 2008 meeting in Upland to reflect an expected increase in harvest opportunities that will be available to sport anglers.

“Based on predictions of a strong return of adult fall-run Chinook salmon, fishing on the Klamath River system is expected to improve this year,” said Neil Manji, DFG Fisheries Branch Chief. “This is good news following the closure of the California ocean salmon season and restrictions in the Sacramento River system earlier this year to protect diminished stocks of Central Valley fall-run Chinook.”

The anticipated strong return of salmon to the Klamath will provide an in-river harvest allocation of 22,500 adult fall-run Chinook salmon for sport anglers – up from 10,600 last year. It is the second largest harvest allocation in 30 years. Run size projections for 2008 are based on the number of fish that returned to the river by age class in 2007 and the expected number of fish harvested at sea during the course of the 2008 offshore fishing season. Offshore closures enacted this season combined with an expected strong return of 4-year-old fall-run Chinook salmon are responsible for the large 2008 in-river sport harvest allocation. The tribal harvest allocation is 27,000 fish.

The following is a summary of seasons, daily bag and possession limits on salmon and steelhead.

  • Klamath River fall-run Chinook salmon: The season extends from Aug. 15 through Dec. 31 on the Klamath River and from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31 on the Trinity River. The daily bag limit is three Chinook salmon of which no more than two may be over 22 inches; the possession limit is nine Chinook salmon of which no more than six may be over 22 inches.
  • Klamath River spring-run Chinook salmon: The season extends from Jan. 1 through Aug. 14 on the Klamath River; and Jan. 1 through Aug. 31 on the Trinity River. The daily bag and possession limit is two Chinook salmon. The take of spring-run Chinook salmon is prohibited on the Klamath River from Iron Gate Dam downstream to Weitchpec or on the Trinity River from the confluence of the South Fork Trinity River downstream to the confluence with the Klamath River during this period.
  • Steelhead: The season is open all year. The daily bag and possession limit is one hatchery steelhead or hatchery rainbow trout on the Klamath River. On the main stem Trinity River the daily bag limit is two hatchery steelhead or hatchery rainbow trout and the possession limit is four. Hatchery steelhead and rainbow trout are identified by the lack of an adipose fin.