Salmon Collapse in Calif. Could Lead to Pacific Fishing Ban

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Federal fisheries managers are considering
closing this year's salmon fishing season from northern Oregon to
the Mexican border.

The shutdown of the salmon season is among the scenarios being
evaluated Friday by the Pacific Fishery Management Council after
the sudden collapse of wild chinook salmon in central California.

The Sacramento River chinook run is usually considered one of
the healthiest on the West Coast.

But this year's run is so weak that most fishermen expect the federal agencies to stop commercial and recreational salmon fishing along the Oregon and California coasts.

Fishermen, environmental groups and American Indians largely blame the salmon's troubles on poor water quality and water diversions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The Pacific fishery council is expected to vote on recommendations during its meeting in Sacramento.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-14-08 1545EDT

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