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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


January 31, 2005
Contact: Cindy Le Fleur, (360) 906-6708

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Sport spring chinook seasons set for Columbia River

Sport seasons for Columbia River hatchery spring chinook were set Friday in a joint meeting of Washington and Oregon fishery managers.

The popular sport fishery, which has been open in the lower river below the Interstate 5 bridge since Jan. 1, will be extended upriver beginning March 16, the managers agreed.

In all fisheries, only hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) fish may be retained. Seasons by river segment are:

  • From Buoy 10 upstream to the Interstate 5 bridge, sport fishing will remain open seven days a week, with a daily limit of two adult hatchery salmon and two hatchery steelhead in Washington waters; two adult hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead in Oregon waters.

  • From the Interstate 5 bridge upstream to Rooster Rock (located approximately 10 miles upstream of Camas), sport fishing will be allowed seven days a week beginning March 16, with a daily limit of two adult hatchery salmon and two hatchery steelhead in Washington waters; two adult hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead in Oregon waters.

  • From Rooster Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam, fishing will be open Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays only beginning March 20, with a daily limit of one adult hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead per day.

  • From Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam, fishing in some areas will be allowed daily beginning March 16 with a limit of two adult hatchery salmon and two hatchery steelhead in Washington waters; two adult hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead in Oregon waters. The open areas will be the same as those open in 2004, from the Tower Island power lines in the Bonneville Pool upstream to McNary Dam, plus the Oregon bank between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines.

The states have initially set the sport spring chinook season to run through May 15, however the actual season length will be determined by the catch rate on wild chinook that are inadvertently caught and released while fishers target hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead.

A run of 403,000 spring chinook-including 254,000 destined for areas above Bonneville Dam-is expected to return to the Columbia River this year, said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River Policy Coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.