Ocean Salmon Fishery Information

April 1- May 15, 2023 Recreational Ocean Salmon Regulations

Map of key landmarks for the recreational ocean salmon fishery

Smith Closure Map - click to enlarge in new window
Smith Closure Map - Click to enlarge
Klamath Closure Map- click to enlarge in new window
Klamath Closure Map - Click to enlarge
Eel Closure Map - click to enlarge in new window
Eel Closure Map - Click to enlarge

OR/CA Border to the 40º10' Line (KMZ)

  • Closed*

40º10' Line to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

  • Closed*

Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

  • Closed*

Pigeon Point to the U.S./Mexico Border (Monterey and South)

  • Closed*

*The remainder of the 2023 season will be decided at the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in April.

General Sport Regulations

  • Daily bag limit (CCR T-14, §27.80): 2 salmon of any species except coho (silver) salmon.
  • Possession limit: 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 (CCR T-14, §27.80(e)).
  • Retention of coho (silver) salmon or steelhead trout is prohibited in any ocean fishery (CCR T-14, §27.70(b) and §27.80(b)).
  • Salmon may not be filleted on any boat or prior to being brought ashore (CCR T-14, §27.65(c)).
  • Salmon may only be taken by angling as defined in CCR T-14, §1.05. No sinkers or weights exceeding 4 lbs. may be used, except that a fishing line may be attached to a sinker or weight of any size if such sinker or weight is suspended by a separate line and the fishing line is released automatically by a mechanical device from the sinker or weight when any fish is hooked (CCR T-14, §27.80(a)).
  • Special Salmon Closures (CCR T-14, §27.75):
    • Smith River mouth- closed year-round
    • Klamath River mouth- closed year-round; in August, this closure expands("Klamath control Zone")
    • Eel River mouth- closed in August and September Only
  • North of Point Conception: No more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used and no more than one rod per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board (CCR T-14, §27.80(a)).
  • 40º10' line near Cape Mendocino to Point Conception (CCR T-14, §27.80(a)): When fishing with bait and angling by any means other than TROLLING1, no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless CIRCLE HOOKS 2 shall be used. The distance between the two hooks must not exceed 5 inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the inner base of the curve of the lower hook and both hooks must be permanently tied in place (hard tied).
    NOTE: These special gear restrictions apply to each angler fishing for salmon or fishing from any boat or floating device with salmon on board.
    1. TROLLING is defined as angling from a boat or floating device that is making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.
    2. A CIRCLE HOOK is defined as a hook with a generally circular shape and a point which turns inwards, pointing directly to the shank at a 90-degree angle.
Recovery of coded-wire tag from salmon head: Any person in possession of a recreationally taken salmon with a missing adipose fin (the small, fleshy fin on the back of the fish between the back fin and tail) shall immediately relinquish the head of the salmon, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the Department, to facilitate the recovery of any coded-wire tag (CCR T-14, §1.73).

2023 Commercial Ocean Salmon Regulations

2023 commercial ocean salmon fishing seasons will be determined at the April 2023 Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting.

Additional Information