Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Catch and Release Salmon Fishing No Longer Allowed in the Central Valley Basin

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has begun enforcing new
recreational salmon fishing regulations for the Central Valley
Basin. Catch and release fishing that intentionally targets salmon
is now illegal in any river or stream closed to salmon fishing. DFG
staff will be notifying anglers and posting information about the
new regulations in the area and violators are subject to a fine of
up to $1,000.

“These changes were necessary to increase protection for
Sacramento River fall run Chinook populations, which have
drastically decreased in the last few years,” said DFG Fisheries
Branch Chief Neil Manji. “The Sacramento River fall run Chinook are
projected to just meet minimum escapement levels for 2009. We need
this new measure to ensure that the stock will continue to

The new rule was adopted by the Fish and Game Commission on
April 21 and went into effect on May 26. The previous regulation,
which specified a zero-salmon bag limit in Central Valley rivers
and tributaries, was replaced with language that states these areas
are “closed to salmon fishing” and “no take or possession of
salmon” is allowable. This eliminates catch and release fishing
that targets salmon throughout most of the year.

The regulations make an exception for a limited late-fall run
recreational fishery. For the second year, fishing on the
Sacramento River will be allowed from November 16 to December 31,
but only from Knights Landing to the Red Bluff Diversion Dam. The
daily bag and possession limit will be one salmon during this

The remaining rivers and tributaries of the Central Valley
Basin, which include the Feather, American and San Joaquin rivers
along with all of their tributaries, will remain closed to salmon
fishing year-round.

Fish and Game Code Section 1.80 defines “take” as “hunt, pursue,
catch, capture or kill fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks,
crustaceans or invertebrates or attempting to do so.” For more
information regarding inland sport fishing regulations and the 2009
California salmon fishery, please visit DFG’s Web site at

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