By Jake Pieper
Purpose of this letter is to express the unanimous support the Brooking City Council for Alternative 1 for the recreational ocean salmon season in the Klamath Management Zone, as well as Alternative 1 for the commercial troll fishery on the Oregon side of the Klamath Management Zone.
Sport salmon fishing is an important part of the economy of the Oregon Coast, especially the City of Brookings, which at times has the highest sport landings of sport-caught salmon in the ocean in Oregon. Salmon fishing is not only important for businesses that cater to visitors to the coast, but also local residents who rely on ocean seasons for recreation and to catch fish to eat. Brookings is often the preferred ocean port for residents of inland communities in Oregon, California and Idaho, and a season that spans several months is vital for planning vacations and providing an opportunity to fish when salmon are present off the coast of Brookings.
Many Brookings families also rely on commercial fishing for their livelihood.
Last year’s ocean salmon closure off of Brookings not only had negative impacts on the local economy, it also shifted more pressure on rockfish stocks, which in part led to the abrupt in-season closure of bottom fishing.
With a rebound in Klamath River fall chinook salmon, as well as continued healthy populations of Rogue River fall chinook salmon, Alternative 1 would provide fishing opportunities for sport and commercial fishing while still providing escapement for Sacramento, Klamath and Rogue fall chinook stocks, as weIl as Rogue-Klamath coho. These options would have the greatest economic impact for the Brookings area, and give local and visiting anglers the best opportunity to fish for, and catch salmon, out of the Port of Brookings Harbor.
Jake Pieper is mayor of Brookings. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.