SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Effective immediately, all recreational and commercial salmon fishing along the California and Oregon coasts has been canceled. The Pacific Fishery Management Council, which oversees West Coast fisheries, says the population of chinook salmon has plummeted to the lowest levels in more than a decade.

The news comes as a big blow to the people who rely on salmon fishing for a living. Normally, the first week of April is really bustling at Pier 45. Recreational season should be open we should be getting the first reports from the charter boats and from the private skiffs that are fishing in our local waters and bringing fish home to feed their families.  

This year, there’s a lot of panic up and down the coast with families trying to fight out how they are going to pay the bills this year. There are tens of thousands of people who rely on salmon to make a living.

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At a press conference in San Francisco on Friday, the region’s congressional delegation said they would be pushing to have a federal fishing disaster declared in order to provide relief money to those impacted. They are also promising to do it as quickly as possible.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom also submitted a request for a federal fishery disaster. The current closure of salmon fishing season is expected to continue through at least spring of next year, possibly longer.

The salmon fishing season closure could cost the State of California more than a billion dollars.