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Pacific fishermen prepare for big salmon season

SAN FRANCISCO — Federal regulators will allow plenty of opportunity for fishermen to troll for Pacific Coast salmon as biologists forecast a dramatic rebound in populations of the prized fish.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council on Thursday approved salmon seasons that provide ample fishing time for commercial and recreational anglers in California, Oregon and Washington.

The council's decision comes as biologists project big increases in chinook salmon populations from the Sacramento, Klamath and Rogue rivers.

That marks a sharp turnaround from a few years ago when steep declines in salmon stocks led to the largest fishery closures on record in 2008 and 2009.

Biologists attribute the comeback to wet winters and favorable ocean conditions over the past few years that have allowed salmon to thrive and spawn in large numbers.

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