Friday, March 03, 2006

California king salmon

Fresh, wild California king salmon will be in short supply this season if federal regulators decide to ban catching the fish along 700 miles of coastline from Monterey to the Oregon border in an attempt to restore the ailing fishery on the Klamath River.
The possibility of the prohibition has fishermen, retailers, restaurateurs and consumers contemplating alternatives to the fish that many of them say has defined California cuisine.
"It's a really luscious fish,'' said Bruce Hill, chef-owner of Picco restaurant in Larkspur and part owner of Bix in San Francisco. "It's high in essential fatty acids, which are good for you. And Californians know that.''
The Pacific Fishery Management Council, an advisory committee for federal fishing regulators, is scheduled to meet next week in Seattle to come up with three options to present to the public before making its final recommendation to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency is expected to issue a ruling by late April, before the season is scheduled to open.
One of those options, said Chuck Tracy, a salmon expert for the council, "will surely be ... a total ban. As far as I know, it would be the first one ever." Other options include shortening the season and allowing fishing only on some parts of the coast, he said.

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