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California Salmon Fishermen Gear Up For Strong Season

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Salmon in a bin (AP)

Salmon in a bin (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – California’s commercial salmon fishermen will benefit from the first full season in years after federal fisheries regulators estimated a healthy Chinook salmon run this fall.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council on Wednesday recommended that the season open on May 1 and run into September—the first full season since 2007, when salmon populations plummeted. The National Marine Fisheries Service will vote on the recommendation May 1.

The news was welcome for a salmon industry hard hit by recent years of cancelled or greatly curtailed fishing seasons.

Fisheries managers estimated 730,000 Chinook would return to the Sacramento River this fall. This run of salmon provides much of the fish caught off of California and Oregon.

In 2009, a record-low 39,500 Chinook returned after estimates predicted 122,000 of the fish.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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