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Salmon fishing season begins in Butte County

Salmon fishing season started this week and there are some changes that fishermen should be aware of.

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 12:42 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 2:11 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Salmon fishing season started this week and there are some changes that fishermen should be aware of.

The change is positive news for fishermen, who can now double their catch limit since last year. Now, anglers can catch two fish per day, which officials said could be good for business and the economy. 

"We've got clients that come from out of state Southern California the Bay Area Sacramento and there are a lot more people who are willing to come up here with the opportunity to catch two salmon instead of one," said James Stone, a local fishing guide.  

Additionally, the fish are necessary for the ecosystem. 

"The fish that migrate into the freshwater provide nutrients that you normally don't get because you get ocean nutrients and bringing them to the freshwater," said Hatchery Manager Anna Kastner. 

Stone said there are multiple threats facing the fish. 

"For example, on the Feather River the last couple of years, here at the hatchery they have been receiving tens of thousands of fish and they have been killing the fish unspawned just because they do not want hatchery genetics in the rivers," Stone said. 

Hatchery staff say that everything that comes to the establishment is euthanized. 

"This is the end of their life cycle," Stone said. "Once the fish spawn they die, so once they are ready to spawn that is the end of their life cycle."

Staff from the hatchery say they go through the fish that are euthanized and determine whether they are edible. If they are, they bring them to food processors and deliver them to food banks. 

Salmon season ends at the end of October. 

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