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Feds cancel salmon fishing season in California

April 11, 2008 | 10:42 am

Salmon_fishing_season_canceled Not enough salmon and too much demand, so for the first time in 150 years, no salmon fishing season. The ban applies to the coasts of California and Oregon, Eric Bailey reports.

The ban adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council after a weeklong meeting in Seattle marks the new low point for a trade enshrined in the West since the Gold Rush.

An aborted season will wallop coastal communities in which salmon has long been a financial and cultural mainstay. Repercussions are expected to ripple out, with the ban hurting not just fuel docks and tackle stores but also supermarkets and truck dealerships.

In California, commercial salmon fishing is a $150-million business.

Scientists say global warming is to blame. Fishermen see "... a whole bunch of smoking guns," including bridge construction and fisheries practices. The salmon season usually runs from May to October, with a catch of about 800,000 fish.

You can read Eric's full story here.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Kurt Rogers / Associated Press