Southern Oregon / Northern California Coast Coho Working Group
NOAA Fisheries announces formation of a Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) joint workgroup assessing the impacts of Council-area salmon fisheries on Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast.
NOAA Fisheries announces formation of a Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) joint workgroup assessing the impacts of Council-area salmon fisheries on Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho salmon.
The workgroup also includes representatives of West Coast tribes, the states of Oregon and California, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The public is welcome at all workgroup meetings. The workgroup will re-examine the PFMC’s salmon harvest management measures and the potential impacts to SONCC coho.
Purpose and Goals
The workgroup will re-examine the PFMC’s salmon harvest management measures and the potential impacts to SONCC coho. The workgroup’s findings will inform NMFS’ potential need for reinitiating consultation under the ESA, wherein NMFS will determine whether the fisheries jeopardize the continued existence of SONCC coho in light of new information about any potentially newly proposed control rules for governing their limitations in fisheries where they are encountered.
Opportunities for Public Involvement
Every meeting of the workgroup is open to the public. The workgroup may provide time for public comments at its meetings at the discretion of the workgroup chair, as time allows, and will also provide opportunities for written input. To be of most value to the workrgroup, public input should specifically address the issue of salmon fisheries’ effects on SONCC coho and possible management actions to limit those impacts.
The workgroup includes representatives from West Coast tribes; the states of California, Oregon, the PFMC; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and NMFS’ West Coast Region, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
At the March 2020 Council meeting, NMFS provided a report on a Stipulated Agreement and Motion to Stay Case reached between the Hoopa Valley Tribe and NMFS. In 2018, the Hoopa Valley Tribe filed suit alleging a failure by NMFS to reinitiate Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation regarding the impacts of ocean salmon fisheries on SONCC coho salmon.
As stated in the agreement, the stay on the case will continue if:
- NMFS proposes a process and timeline to develop the SONCC coho harvest control rule (control rule) to the Council for consideration its April 2020 meeting,
- the Council decides by May 31, 2020, to consider a process to develop the control rule, and
- the Council approves a control rule by November 30, 2021, and NMFS initiates ESA consultation, as warranted, by December 15, 2021.
At the April 2020 Council meeting, NMFS proposed a process and timeline for Council consideration to develop a control rule and the Council established an ad-hoc technical workgroup (Workgroup) in response to the NMFS proposal. A draft Terms of Reference provided by NMFS was reviewed by the Council and forwarded to the Workgroup to finalize at their first meeting on June 9, 2020.
The workgroup will conduct a review of the fisheries and report back with recommendations at futures PFMC meetings.
The workgroup will hold regular meetings that, in some cases, may be in conjunction with Council meetings. Some meetings will take place outside of the Council meetings.
Supporting materials for upcoming meetings will be posted here in advance of each meeting, categorized by agenda item. We will add presentations from meetings once they become available.
- August 6-7, 2020, Webinar
- Draft terms of reference establishing timelines for Workgroup (pdf; on PFMC website)