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STATE OF SALMON TO BE DISCUSSED BY FISH AND GAME COMMISSION

STATE OF SALMON TO BE DISCUSSED BY FISH AND GAME COMMISSION
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- When the California Fish and Game Commission meets in Carpinteria on Oct. 2, one of the scheduled agenda items is a report on the status of salmon stocks in the state.  The report will be an update of the information presented to the commission at its Feb. 7, 1992, meeting.
    Chinook salmon, the most abundant salmon species in California, are represented by four races: the winter-, spring-, fall-, and late-fall runs.  They are named according to the distinct season in which they begin their upstream spawning migration from the ocean.  Coho salmon are the second most abundant species.  It is confined mostly to smaller coastal streams and the Klamath basin.
    The Department of Fish and Game in expected to report at the meeting that primarily because of the effects of six years of drought all salmon runs are at extremely low levels.  The winter-run chinook salmon is listed as "endangered" by the state and "threatened" by the federal government.  Its numbers were up this year from an all-time low spawning run in 1991.
    Of most recent concern to the department is the early information on the numbers of fall-run chinooks.  Based on the timing of past runs, by now about one-third of the run should have reached Red Bluff on the Sacramento River.  To date, the run is only about one-fourth of that seen in 1991.  The total run in the Sacramento system, including the American and Feather rivers, is now estimated to be fewer than 60,000 fish.  Escapement goals for the fall-run are in a range of from 122,000 to 180,000 salmon.  Last year the run in Sacramento was 176,000 fish.
    The commission is expected to discuss the status of the fall-run in the Sacramento system and to explore options available to maximize the number of spawners and the survival of their progeny.
    Included among the options is emergency action to close the Sacramento River system, or some part of it, to the take of salmon. While the commission could take such action at the Oct. 2 meeting, and this serves as public notification of such a possibility, it is likely that the commission will schedule a special hearing at a city located along the Sacramento River in early October to consider emergency action.
    Written comments on the possible closure of the Sacramento River system may be submitted to the commission office, 1416 Ninth St., Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090.  Oral or written testimony will be accepted at the Oct. 2 hearing in Carpinteria.
    The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers at 5775 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria.  Proceedings will commence at 10:30 a.m.
    -0-             09/30/92
    CONTACT:  Lanny Clavecilla, information officer, California Department Fish & Game, 916-654-5776 CO:  CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME ST:  CA -- SF015 -- X787  09/30/92
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1992
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