SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The State Department of Fish and Wildlife held its annual salmon meeting in Santa Rosa Thursday. Fishermen were encouraged by initial reports in this first step that will determine the year’s sport and commercial fishing seasons.

Officials reviewed last year’s catch numbers from commercial and recreational salmon anglers to forecast how many fish are out in the open ocean.

Spokesman Harry Morris said based on those numbers they’ll be able to nail down this season’s dates. Typically the season lasts April through October.

Morris said open ocean abundance [of Sacramento River Fish] is good.

“It’s about 800,000 fish. That’s a good forecast and for the Klamuth [River Fall Run Chinook] it’s about 700,000. So these are both well above the normal averages,” he said.

Captain Steve Talmadge, owner and operator of Flash Sport Fishing off Fisherman’s Wharf, said he’s optimistic this means they’re getting back to where they used to be.

“We were closed for two years, then we had it reopened, which was just a so-so season. Last year was better than the year before, so hopefully it’s on the upswing and if they’re correct, then we should have a good year and that would benefit everybody,” he said.

The next step in the regulatory process that determines the exact dates is a Federal meeting in Tacoma, Washington beginning on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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