Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
For more information call Brandon Ford, 541-867-0300, Ext. 277
For immediate release Wednesday, August 4, 2004
Anglers reminded about jack regulations
NEWPORT - Large numbers of small chinook salmon along the Oregon coast
are leading some anglers to inadvertently violate fishing regulations,
according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon
State Police. The agencies want to remind anglers of the various estuary
and ocean angling regulations now in effect.
The problem is being caused by the small size of the fish, which meet
the definition of jacks in estuaries and adults in parts of the ocean.
"The majority of these small, two-year-old chinook are now in the
21-to-24-inch range," said Eric Schindler, ODFW Ocean Salmon Project
leader, "and they meet the minimum legal size in the ocean sport
fishery south of Cape Falcon.
"Biologically these are not jack salmon," said Schindler. "The
vast majority of these chinook are fish that will remain in the ocean
feeding and growing for at least another year."
Schindler said all salmon in the ocean that meet the minimum legal size
are considered adults and must be recorded on the catch record. The
minimum legal size for chinook from Cape Falcon south to the California
border is 20 inches. North of Cape Falcon, chinook must be 26 inches or
larger to be retained.
There are three exceptions to this size limit, said Schindler.
The first exception is in the ocean within the terminal area off the
mouth of Tillamook Bay (Twin Rocks to Pyramid Rock and seaward 3
nautical miles), where chinook between 15 and 24 inches are considered
by regulation to be jack salmon, and up to five jack salmon may be
retained per day in addition to the daily adult limit. However, an
angler may not continue to angle for jack salmon after keeping and
retaining the bag limit of adult salmon.
The second exception is in coastal estuaries, where chinook between 15
and 24 inches are considered by regulation to be jack salmon, and up to
five jack salmon may be retained per day in addition to the daily adult
limit. However, an angler may not continue to angle for jack salmon
after keeping and retaining the bag limit of adult salmon.
The third exception is in the Columbia River estuary within the area
bounded on the west by the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line drawn from
Rocky Point, Wash., to Red Buoy 44, to Tongue Point, Ore. In this area
only adult salmon may be retained from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, with a
minimum legal size of 24 inches for chinook and 16 inches for coho.
"Where anglers may get into trouble is when they catch jacks in an
estuary or in the Tillamook terminal area and then cross the bar into
the open ocean where the chinooks would be considered adult salmon,"
said Lt. David Cleary, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division.
"If they have two fish in their possession and continue to angle in
the ocean, they would be in violation."
OSP can and does ticket anglers for fishing in ocean waters with more
than two salmon in their possession, noted Cleary.
Due to the different rules covering ocean and estuary angling, anglers
are encouraged to fish in one or the other area, rather than covering
both areas in one trip. An alternative solution is to retain only those
chinook that are at least 20 inches long south of Cape Falcon and only
those chinook that are at least 26 inches long north of Cape Falcon.