Biologists project big Pacific Coast salmon season

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Pacific Coast fishermen can start gearing up for what's expected to be the best salmon fishing season in years.

Federal fishery managers are projecting robust populations of Chinook and coho salmon off the Pacific Coast and in California and Oregon rivers.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council on Wednesday approved three options for managing West Coast salmon fisheries this year. All of them give anglers plenty of time to fish later this spring and summer.

The regulatory council is expected to choose a final plan when it meets in Seattle in early April.

Biologists say the number of Chinook salmon returning to the Sacramento, Klamath and Rogue Rivers is projected to be significantly higher this year.

In 2008 and 2009, poor salmon returns led to the largest fishery closures on record.