Fish and Game Commission accepts endangered petition for Chinook Salmon

SACRAMENTO—California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will review a request to list the Upper Klamath-Trinity River Spring Chinook Salmon as endangered; the state’s Fish and Game Commission received a petition for the endangered species listing at its February meeting.

The Karuk Tribe and Salmon River Restoration Council jointly submitted the petition, stating the Spring Chinook Salmon’s population trends are declining and at low abundance, bring the species close to extinction. Emergency fishing regulations could be implemented.

“Acceptance of the petition triggers a one-year status review by CDFW to determine if a [California Endangered Species Act] listing by the Commission may be warranted,” a Department of Fish and Wildlife statement said. “CDFW, after review of the best scientific information available, will make a recommendation to the commission on whether to list Spring Chinook Salmon as either endangered or threatened, or that listing is not warranted at this time.”

The Fish and Game Commission did approve a few emergency inland salmon fishing closures at its February meetings, all regulating Northern California waterways and quotas. Salmon fishing was closed at three locations at the Klamath and Trinity rivers, for example.

“Along with its adoption of the emergency regulations, the commission also directed CDFW to work with stakeholders, including affected counties, fishing organizations, tribes and conservation groups, to investigate options to allow some Spring Chinook Salmon fishing in 2019,” the Department of Fish and Wildlife statement continued. “Under Section of 2084 of Fish and Game Code, the Commission can consider hook-and-line recreational fishing on a Candidate Species. CDFW will present the results of that stakeholder collaboration and potential options using Section 2084 at the commission’s next public meeting, which will be held April 17 in Santa Monica.”

Anglers can keep up with the status of salmon fishing in Northern California by calling 800-564-6479.

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