It’s salmon season here in California. Well, technically, it’s preseason. The season opened on April 4 and despite all the concern over the drought, anglers and marine biologists alike are expecting a very healthy return of king salmon (aka chinook) to come back to spawn in California rivers. This preseason extends through the end of April, at which point the Pacific Fisheries Management Council will make a determination on the rest of the season.

Early results have been good. Virg’s Landing out of Morro Bay, California, reported limits on some of their trips during opening weekend. Read what the experts are predicting for this year’s California salmon season.

virg_salmon_calThe celebrated king salmon of the West Coast won’t be as abundant as last year, but ocean fishermen can still expect to reel them in by the score despite a third year of drought and potentially dire conditions in California rivers, fisheries biologists said Wednesday.

The National Marine Fisheries Servicepredicted Wednesday that 634,650 fall-run chinook salmon from the Sacramento river system would be out in the ocean this year, a good sign for local commercial and recreational fishermen and women whose livelihoods aren’t likely to be threatened by major restrictions.

“The abundance forecast is pretty large,” saidMichael O’Farrell, a fisheries service biologist, during a presentation at a California Department of Fish and Wildlife meeting in Santa Rosa packed with at least 150 fishermen, biologists, educators and government administrators.

Photos: Virg’s Landing

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Joe Sarmiento
Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.