State/National/WorldFish Rap

Recreational Ocean Salmon Fishing Resumes July 22

The last day for ocean salmon fishing was July 4 in the Fort Bragg Management Area, and it will open to fishing again on July 22. In California, salmon is managed by geographical area; the CDFW has split the state into four zones: KMZ (Klamath Management Zone), Fort Bragg, San Francisco, and Monterey and South of Monterey. 


Generally, each area has different season dates, landing restrictions, and total length requirements. This is done because different stocks of concern, such as threatened and endangered stocks, have different geographical distribution in the ocean and protect those stocks at different times of the season. In addition, the fishing fleet has different behavior in each geographical area. Therefore, the CDFW needs to be able to manage the fishery at a more granular level.


The 40-10 line on the map is a boundary easy for captains to recognize on a GPS unit or map. It can be referred to as the southern boundary of the Klamath Management Zone. Or the northern border of the Fort Bragg Management area.  


Southern California is part of the Monterey Management area; therefore, all the rules and regulations listed under Monterey apply to Southern California.

Coho Salmon in California are federally endangered and threatened (depending on the stock). The federal and state endangered species acts prohibit the take of listed species.

The recreational fishing season in the San Francisco management area has extended fishing regulations through Oct 31. In Monterey and south, the season extends through Oct 2.


In addition, salmon may not be filleted on any boat or before being brought ashore. In Southern California, between April 2-Oct. 2, the minimum size limit for ocean salmon caught must be 24 inches through May 15 and 20 inches in total length after that. 


These regulations apply to recreational fishing seasons only and not commercial seasons. 


For more information on recreational ocean salmon fishing, please visit the CDFW website or call the National Marine Fisheries Service Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (800) 662-9825. 

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