Trinity River Anglers Urged to Return Fish Tags in Timely Manner

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reminding Trinity River anglers to return Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead tags in a timely manner.

Tag return information is used each year to calculate harvest and help biologists estimate the population size of steelhead and salmon runs. This information feeds into the Klamath basin fall Chinook salmon run-size estimate and informs the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s creation of regulations and quota sizes for the Klamath fishery. The data also allows CDFW to determine if progress is being made toward the goals of the Trinity River Restoration Program. CDFW will no longer be paying rewards for Trinity River tags returned from previous seasons, according to CDFW Trinity River Project Environmental Scientist Mary Claire Kier.

“We rely on anglers returning reward tags to us in the same season that the fish are caught so we can use the information in the season-setting process,” Kier said. “Timely return of reward tags is very important to secure an accurate estimate of the annual harvest. Only tags returned to CDFW in the same season they are obtained can be used in the harvest estimates, yet we often have tags returned to us as many as 10 years late. Unfortunately, that catch information has no value to us at that point.”

As a reminder, anglers must immediately release all Coho salmon and wild steelhead (those with an intact adipose fin). Tags may be removed from these species, but the fish must remain in the water during tag removal. Please use scissors or a sharp knife to remove the tag.

Please return all Trinity River fish tags to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
5341 Ericson Way
Arcata, CA 95521

Anglers can obtain a form to accompany the tags at www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/inland/fish-tags or send the tags with:

  • Angler’s name and address
  • Date and location fish was caught
  • Whether the fish was kept or released

Anglers should also cut the knot off tags before sending to ensure they will clear the United States Postal Service sorting machine.

California Recreational Salmon Season Set for 2018


 

The recreational salmon seasons have been set for 2018, and it appears to be a mixture of good news and bad for California anglers. Klamath River fall-run Chinook are likely to be one of the better fishing opportunities due to higher returns that will support both ocean and inland salmon seasons. But returns for Sacramento River fall-run Chinook – the main stock of salmon-supporting California’s ocean and Central Valley river fisheries – have been low for the third consecutive year, pushing them into “overfished” status.

In order to meet conservation goals for Sacramento River fall-run Chinook, some ocean salmon seasons have been shortened and the daily bag and possession limits for Central Valley river fisheries have been reduced.

“The goal is to get even more fish back to the spawning grounds this fall than would be required in a normal year,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer.

In an effort to hasten the rebuilding process, the Pacific Fishery Management Council constructed conservative ocean salmon seasons for 2018, in the hopes of producing higher numbers of returning spawners. The California Fish and Game Commission set similar ocean seasons.

The 2018 recreational ocean salmon season for the California coast is as follows:

  • In the Klamath Management Zone, which is the area between the Oregon/California border and Horse Mountain (40°05’00” N. latitude), the season will open June 1 and continue through Sept. 3.
  • The Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas, which extend from Horse Mountain to Point Arena (38°57’30” N. latitude) and Point Arena to Pigeon Point (37°11’00” N. latitude), respectively, will open June 17 and continue through Oct. 31.
  • The Monterey area between Pigeon Point and the U.S./Mexico border opened on April 7 and will continue through July 2.

The minimum size limit is 20 inches total length in all areas north of Pigeon Point and 24 inches in all areas south of Pigeon Point. The daily bag limit is two Chinook salmon per day. No more than two daily bag limits may be possessed when on land. On a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit. Retention of coho salmon (also known as silver salmon) is prohibited in all ocean fisheries off California.

The 2018 recreational inland salmon season for California inland waters is as follows:

  • Seasons for Central Valley fishery start on traditional dates on all sections of all rivers. Only one salmon per day may be retained and the possession limit is two salmon.
  • In the Klamath River, the season will open Aug. 15 and continue through Dec. 31. The Trinity River season will be open from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31. The daily bag limit is two salmon no more than one over 22 inches. The possession limit is six salmon, no more than three over 22 inches.

Regulations approved by the Commission since the 2017 season created a positive effect for the upcoming Central Valley salmon season. The new regulations – including a complete closure of Nimbus Basin on the American River to all fishing due to construction, a reduction in the daily bag and possession limit for the Central Valley, and a shortened leader length regulation intended to reduce snagging – were pivotal in setting seasons on the Sacramento River fall Chinook because they helped reduced potential harvest to meet stock rebuilding goals.

The 2018 sports seasons, dates, locations and bag limits will be published in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Regulations Supplement, which will be posted on the CDFW website in May. Additional season information can be found on CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage or by calling CDFW’s ocean salmon hotline at (707) 576-3429 or the Klamath-Trinity River hotline at (800) 564-6479.

 


 

Humboldt Steelhead Days Jan 1st through March 31st

 

Humboldt Steelhead Days is a three-month-long celebration of “All Things Steelhead!” Events and angling activities organized throughout Humboldt are designed to inspire community awareness, river restoration and recovery of Humboldt’s iconic winter steelhead populations and their spawning habitat. More info will become available in the coming weeks. So, stay tuned!

Trinity River Fishing Report 12-14-2016


Looks like it’s time to fish the Trinity

After the rains hit last week the Upper Trinity was blown out. From Lewiston to Junction City the river has come back into shape and flowing low and clear. Good numbers of new winter fish should show any day. There is another storm system coming in so hit it now or wait for the next drop as in the Smith won’t be in this shape for long. Also be aware that if you’re headed to the Trinity, keep in mind the rock slide in French Gulch has closed Hwy. 299 in both directions for the rest of the week.

 


 

Trinity River Fishing Report


North coast steelhead and salmon anglers are reminded to return fish tags to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in a timely manner. Tag return information is a vital tool for biologists as they calculate harvest and estimate population size of Chinook, coho and steelhead runs.

“We’ve had people send us huge envelopes with several years’ worth of tags, but the information is only useful in the same season the fish are caught, ” said Mary Claire Kier, CDFW Trinity River Project Environmental Scientist. “We need anglers to send in their tags right away, before they get lost or forgotten in tackle boxes or pockets of fishing vests.”

Please return all Trinity River fish tags, by mail or in person, to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
5341 Ericson Way
Arcata, CA  95521

A tag return form can be found online at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Fishing/Monitoring/FTag/.  Anglers can also simply send the tags wrapped in or taped to a piece of paper with their name, address, date and location that the fish was caught or the tag was found. Please specify if the fish was caught live or found dead, or if the tag was found loose. If the tag was found on a caught fish, please note whether the fish was kept or released.

If the tag is being returned by mail, please cut the knot off of the tag as the knot can cause the envelope to catch in the postal sorting equipment.