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95-DAY SALMON FISHING SEASONS SET FOR OFF BROOKINGS

One of the 2001 catches in the "trophy season." ().
One of the 2001 catches in the "trophy season." ().

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Like almost all of Oregon, the fishing is great year-round in Brookings – from the clear waters of the Chetco River to the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

But when it comes to Chinook salmon caught on the ocean, Brookings leads the state. And predictions for the 2002 salmon seasons mean fishermen should be making their plans now to catch Chinook out of Brookings.

One in four sport Chinook landed in Oregon came to Brookings in 2001. The total was almost 7,200, leading the next port (Winchester Bay) by 1,000 fish.

More than one in five sport salmon fishing trips in Oregon were taken from Brookings in 2001, leading the next largest effort (from Astoria) by more than 3,500 angler trips.

And that leading position on Chinook salmon landings and salmon fishing trips doesn't include the bottomfish numbers.

One in six bottomfish trips in 2001 were out of the Port of Brookings Harbor, resulting in anglers landing one out of every five pounds of bottomfish landed in Oregon in 2001.

Another 95-day recreational offshore salmon fishing season for the Brookings area has been recommended by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC).

The season includes:

•May 15 through June 30,

•July 3 and 4, and

•Aug. 1 through Sept. 15.

The bag limit recommended, Thompson said, was two fish a day, and no more than six fish in a week.

The October season for Chinook, known locally as the Trophy Season, has yet to be set by State of Oregon salmon managers.

"Thanks to the hard work of the coalition – the port, the fishermen and the Chamber of Commerce, we'll have another long season," Thompson said.

The 95 days on the water for salmon fishing will be the same as 2001, when officials say there were 25,924 angler trips out of Brookings, catching 7,194 Chinook.

According to estimates from the PFMC staff, without the two days in July, fishermen are expected to catch about the same number of fish in 2002.

The PFMC estimate of economic benefits to the entire area, from Eureka to Port Orford, was $1.8 million in 2001.

For more information about salmon fishing, contact the Port of Brookings Harbor or the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce through the links avaiable at the left.

And what do fishermen do if the ocean is too rough? There's fishing all year long on the Chetco River at Brookings, the nearby Smith River and Rogue River (which empties at Gold Beach).

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