Canceled California salmon season becomes financial burden for fishers

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Friday, March 17, 2023
Canceled CA salmon season becomes financial burden for fishers
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Salmon season is closed for 2023 as the drought from recent years limited it's ability to breed, and now there aren't enough for commercial fishing.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Salmon season is closed for all of 2023. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the drought from recent years limited salmon's ability to breed, and now there aren't enough to open the commercial season. Salmon fishers say it is a massive financial burden.

"We have crews that depend on us, we have families to feed," said Sarah Bates, a salmon fisher based in San Francisco. "I am not exactly sure what we are going to do this summer. It makes me nervous."

MORE: Petaluma high school students help to save thousands of endangered salmon from drought

There are two main fisheries in the Bay Area - Dungeness crab and salmon. Officials delayed crab season again this year, and now salmon season is closed. Fishers say the industry will take a big financial hit.

"It has never been easy, but it is going to push a lot of guys to the point where, well, how are you going to make your income?" said Matt Juanes, a crab and salmon fisher. "Salmon and crab are most of my income. I will have to go back to rock cod or halibut."

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