The commercial salmon fishing season south of Point Arena opened Wednesday, promising the return of fresh-caught wild salmon in the area's markets and restaurants.

The season will run through September, with down time in the mid-summer to protect certain delicate populations that will be moving through the area at the time.

Scientists and fishermen are hoping for a robust season, at least the equal of 2012, which was the best since the early 2000s and a vast improvement over conditions six years ago, when a sudden crash of key salmon populations in 2007 forced a two-year moratorium on fishing.

Recreational fishing opened April 6 and will run through November in most places, with partial closures in June and July.

Details of both commercial and recreational fishing dates and rules are available at the Pacific Fisheries Management Council's website:

The commercial and recreational seasons generate about $1.4 billion annually for the California economy, according to the Golden Gate Salmon Association.