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Salmon Season Opens In California After 2 Year Break

April 2, 2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sport salmon fishermen are casting their lines once again. After a two-year break, the salmon fishing season in California officially begins Saturday. Federal biologists are predicting a larger return of fall-run Chinook salmon after record-low numbers the two previous years. However, the season may last only through April.

Fisherman Marc Gorelnik, board member of the Coastside Fishing Club, says the problem of low fish populations will continue until the state's water policies are fixed.

"There's only so much water to go around. Too much of it is being taken for ag use, for example, and not enough water is being left in the rivers and the Delta to allow the salmon to successfully transit."

The harm caused by the canceling seasons goes beyond just the fishermen, adds Gorelnik.

"This isn't simply about whether salmon swim in the river. People's lives and real businesses are being damaged by the harm done to the fishery by California's water policies."

Gorelnik attended a hearing in San Francisco Thursday, which was part of a Salmon Summit - an event held to discuss the economic losses caused by the canceled seasons and to explore long-term solutions. When the Pacific Fisheries Management Council meets April 15, they may extend recreational salmon fishing, and for the first time in two years, may approve a short commercial season as well.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA