California Salmon Season

By Jeff Hearns :: July 24, 2019

After three difficult seasons, it seems that the California king salmon season has taken off and achieved the best numbers in a decade. However, we’re not seeing many of the CA salmon despite what the various reports say about the strength of the season. Most of the salmon is going via ground, with team drivers covering the country in 2-3 days. After speaking with Alaska Air in San Francisco, they confirmed that they aren’t seeing any CA salmon flying and hear the same regarding surface vs. air these days. This is identical to what has happened to the domestic cherry market over the last years, converted from air to road.

As for the state of the CA commercial salmon season, the schedule this year gives fisherman 30% more time fishing. Last year they were limited to windows of several days to several weeks in the spring, in limited areas. Restrictions were more severe in 2017, when the season did not start until August, and the fishery was also limited in 2016. Those two seasons were declared federal fishery disasters by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The minimum catch size is 27” this year, up from 26” last year, so there is a small improvement, yet still designed to leave plenty of fish to make the trip up the Sacramento River to spawning grounds.

With OR and WA expecting more restrictive seasons ahead, there was speculation that some of the PNW commercial boats would come south to CA waters, contributing to the large size of this year’s catch. With that comes speculation for lower prices at market due to the increased volume availability.

CFI works hard to build partnerships and relationships to have our clients covered during the peaks and valleys of perishable seasons. Whether we’re in a booming salmon run, or navigating a difficult season, our network is ready to get your salmon moving on time.