The North Coast fishing community was treated to encouraging news Thursday about the state of the ocean salmon fishery, with forecasts suggesting increased productivity and opportunities for fishermen during the coming sport and commercial seasons, despite the continuing drought.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued what it calls an “abundance forecast” of 652,000 adult king salmon from the Sacramento River fall run waiting off the North Coast and potentially available to anglers once they’re permitted to drop their lines later this year.

That’s a slight improvement from last year’s forecast of 634,650, though that estimate was actually about 13 percent too high, said Brett Kormos, a senior state Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist.

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