Pacific Salmon Commission

Salmon migrate through a broad geographic range along the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to California. Therefore, the United States and Canadian governments work with tribes, states, and sport and commercial fishing groups to provide for shared conservation and harvest objectives. These proceedings are guided by the 1985 Pacific Salmon Treaty and implemented through the Pacific Salmon Commission. Provisions of the Treaty, particularly those that describe fishing regimes, are modified periodically. The fishing regimes are described in detail in several chapters of Annex IV of the Treaty. The current agreement applies to fisheries from 2009 through 2018, except for the chapter that applies to Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon, which extends through 2013.

The Commission does not regulate salmon fisheries, but instead provides regulatory recommendations and a forum through which the two countries are able to reach mutually beneficial agreements. The U.S. and Canadian governments provide technical information to the Commission on the conduct of its fisheries, pre-season expectations, and enhancement activities. From here, the Commission analyzes the data through its bilateral technical committees which then report to panels that develop recommendations. The recommendations are transmitted to the U.S. and Canadian governments for final approval and regulatory implementation.

NOAA Fisheries is the U.S. agency that reviews the recommendations and approves them through its regulatory channels under the Endangered Species Act and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. NOAA Fisheries reviewed and approved the current Treaty Agreement for compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The agency's review is available here. Provisions that apply to areas off Washington, Oregon, and California coasts are subject to terms of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and regulated by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries.