An article by Dennis Cuff in the Contra Costa Times today reports that a federal panel is considering closing the salmon fishing season this year from Monterey to northern Oregon in order to protect Klamath river salmon.
The salmon are not the focus of the story, though they do get some mention.
Because Klamath salmon mix in the ocean with salmon from other rivers, regulators say they need to restrict fishing along 700 miles of coastline to protect the Klamath salmon.
Experts expect healthy salmon runs on the Sacramento River this year but a low run on the Klamath for a third consecutive year.
In defense, a federal fishing regulators say they are trying to protect a public resource. They said they want to bring back Klamath salmon before they become threatened or endangered.
The Klamath River suffers from interconnected problems of plant water quality, low flows, old hydroelectric dams that block fish migration and parasites that kill baby fish.
The article spouts generalities about “experts”, “regulators”, and “federal panels” without ever bothering to get a statement from any specific person. Contrast that with Cuff’s central figures in the story, people associated with the fishing industry. This is the story lead:
Duncan MacLean has weathered stormy seas, lean years and competition from fish farms to stay afloat in the West Coast’s shrinking commercial salmon business for 30 years.
Nature’s bounty has been good to him.
But now he fears the government’s failure to manage a river environment 600 miles away could put him and other California salmon fishermen out of business.
Here’s something we all need to know about MacLean:
“If I don’t fish for a season, I’m dead. I’m history,” McLean said this week aboard his fishing boat, berthed in Pillar Point harbor nestled in the moon-shaped bay 20 miles south of San Francisco.
The only others quoted in the article were Peggy Beckett, a party boat trip arranger and former salmon boat captain, and Yogi Adams, a charter fishing boat owner.