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Let’s clarify our new river-fishing regs

Dave Jacobs, In-river Fishing News, author badge for myoutdoorbuddy.com

here is inevitably going to be some confusion whenever you have some new closures or any regulation changes to our salmon fishing on the Sacramento River or anywhere in Northern California. That is just the nature of the news business as news stories get picked up and reposted throughout the country.

Fortunately, I have been able to maintain my fishing schedule and stay very involved with all of the current regulation changes that have taken place, some on the Sacramento River system and others on rivers like the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Here are a few of the big changes that will hopefully clear up any confusion anglers may have about this year’s salmon and trout fishing seasons.

The first significant change is the small fishing closure on the upper Sacramento River near Redding. This is confusing to many because it talks of protecting endangered winter-run salmon and no fishing to help protect these salmon. Most just hear a few words in these news reports that circulate such as “Closed…Sacramento River…Salmon…Fishing.”

Dave Jacobs and Randy Warner with a 38 pound Sacramento River Fall-Run king salmon
Author and Randy Warner with a 38 pound Sacramento River Fall-Run king salmon caught below Red Bluff during the 2014 Sacramento River salmon fishing season.

Here is the recent change, as of April 27th: There is a closed 5.5 mile stretch of the Sacramento River in downtown Redding to all fishing. The closed section of river is from the Highway 44 Bridge upriver to the base of Keswick Dam through July 31st. This section of river will re open to trout fishing on August 1st. This closure has absolutely nothing to do with the 2015 Sacramento River Fall Run King salmon season.

The 2015 Sacramento River Fall run king salmon season will open 150 feet below the Sycamore boat launch at the Red Bluff Diversion Dam on July 16th. The Sacramento River above the Red Bluff Diversion Dam will open on August 1st all the way up to the Deschutes Bridge near Anderson. This year the Sacramento River will remain open to salmon fishing through December 16th.

Here is the only change to the Sacramento River salmon fishing regulations. The possession limit has changed to four salmon in possession up from just two salmon in possession. This is very confusing to most but this clarification may help you better understand this change. There is a daily bag limit and a possession limit, each are not the same as many sometimes think. The daily bag limit on the Sacramento River is still the same when it comes to king salmon, each angler is allowed two king salmon per day. The possession limit has been increased to four salmon in possession up from the previous possession limit of just two salmon. So, an angler can now possess a total of four king salmon on their person, in their cooler or in their freezer, etc. An angler can still only catch and keep two salmon in one fishing day.

There is a big change in the salmon and steelhead fishing on the Klamath River this season. The biggest change is the closure to fishing at and around the mouth of Blue Creek on the Klamath River. This closure has nothing to do with the Sacramento River salmon fishing and it only relates to a small (but very important) section of the Klamath River. This year you cannot fish 500 feet above and one half mile below the mouth of Blue Creek where it meets the Klamath River from June 14 to September 14. It will remain closed from 500 feet above and 500 feet below from September 15 to December 31. This closure is for non-tribal sport fishing only. There is also a catch and keep regulation at the spit area of the Klamath River this year. All anglers must keep all legally caught adult salmon and cease fishing the spit area when the angler legally hooks and lands his or hers two adult king salmon for the day.

This in-river fishing report is being provided to the angling public courtesy of Dave Jacobs Professional Guide Service. For more local fishing information, call guide Dave Jacobs at 530-646-9110 or visit the website.

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