After cutting bait for the past three years, local fisherman can finally cast their lines for salmon. A federal panel on Thursday set seasons and quotas for chinook and coho salmon, along the coast from Canada to Mexico.
"The commercial fishing season in California is going to be very skimpy this year," said Dave Bitts, who is a Eureka-based fisherman and president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association.
"Skimpy" is one way of putting it. The council decided to limit the season in California to eight days during July, plus quota-limited amounts in August in the Fort Bragg area.
The coast off California and much of Oregon has been closed to commercial fishing the last two seasons because of declining chinook runs. The commercial fisheries in California will include two four-day openings in July, from Point Arena to the Mexico border
The decision will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2010. The recreational salmon fishing season around the Bay Area opened on April 3, and will close on September 6.
Bay City News contributed to this report.