Ocean salmon regulations are developed through an open public process involving state and federal agencies, recreational anglers, and commercial fishing interests. Regulations for the ocean waters from 3-200 miles are first proposed through the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) process, reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and signed into law by the Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Regulations from 0-3 miles are set by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC), but must fall within the standards as established by the PFMC.
The regulation setting process begins each spring in March with a week long PFMC meeting to review the status of the salmon populations of importance to West Coast fisheries, and consider proposals from the public and fishery managers for fishing season alternatives. These fishing season options then go out for more public comment through a series of public hearings to gather testimony. In April, the PFMC convenes to adopt a final set of regulations for the ocean waters off Washington, Oregon, and California. These regulations are generally in effect for the fishing year beginning May 1 and continuing through the following April 30. Seasons adopted for March and April can be reviewed at the November and March PFMC meetings, and changes made based on updated salmon population information.
The final regulations from PFMC are also submitted to the OFWC for approval. The OFWC can adopt more stringent regulations for the area inside of 3 miles, but otherwise must adhere to the regulations as finalized by the PFMC. The PFMC generally allows the State of Oregon to also adopt specific seasons to harvest returning salmon to coastal rivers.
Ocean Salmon Regulation Links
Commercial Troll Salmon
Elk River State Waters Fall Chinook Troll Fishery (pdf)
Chetco Fall State Waters Fall Chinook Troll Fishery (pdf)
Recreational Ocean Fishing Regulations
Elk River State Waters Fall Chinook Sport Season (pdf)
Chetco Fall State Waters Fall Chinook Sport Season (pdf)
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
2040 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, Oregon 97365