On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, recreational ocean salmon fishing will open in the area between Horse Mountain and the Oregon/California state line, including Humboldt Bay.
California's recreational fishery for salmon will remain open in ocean waters through Sept. 9, 2012. Ocean salmon fishing south of Horse Mountain opened on April 7.
In the fall of 2011, record numbers of “jack” Chinook salmon returned to spawn in the Central Valley and Klamath-Trinity basins. High numbers of “jack” returns are a good indication that large populations of adult salmon remain in the ocean and will be available to anglers in the upcoming season.
Even with a more conservative approach to estimating the ocean population, fishery biologists expect about two million Chinook salmon will be in California coastal waters through the summer.
The coast-wide recreational daily bag and possession limit is two salmon of any species except coho. The minimum size limit is 20 inches total length between the Oregon/California state line and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude). For all areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length through July 5, and 20 inches total length thereafter. The fishery closes south of Pigeon Point on Oct. 7 and between Pigeon Point and Horse Mountain on Nov. 11.
For anglers fishing north of Point Conception, no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks may be used and no more than one rod per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling between Horse Mountain and Point Conception.
For complete ocean salmon regulations, visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline (707) 576-3429. The final 2012 ocean salmon regulations will be published in the DFG 2012 supplemental fishing regulations booklet available in May at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.
source: California Department of Fish and Game (DFG)