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

April 01, 2003
Contact: Cindy LeFleur, (360) 906-6708

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Columbia River spring chinook sport fishery trimmed

OLYMPIA-Two reductions to the Columbia River spring chinook salmon sport season were made today by state fish managers in an effort to lessen the fishery's impact on protected upriver-origin wild fish.

In the mainstem Columbia River from the Interstate 5 bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam, fishing for chinook, steelhead and shad will close Sunday (April 6) until further notice.

Lower in the river, from Buoy 10 upstream to the Interstate 5 bridge, fishing for chinook will close April 6, but will re-open Wednesdays through Saturdays weekly beginning April 9.

In the four-day-a-week fishery, the daily salmon bag limit will continue to be six fish with a minimum size of 12 inches, no more than two of which may be adults. Only chinook with a missing adipose may be retained. Regulations for trout (including hatchery steelhead) and shad fishing will remain unchanged in the section of river below the Interstate 5 bridge.

The season modification was necessary because the sport fishery has been harvesting a larger-than-expected proportion of upriver-origin spring chinook. At the current harvest rate, the allowable impact on federally protected wild upriver spring chinook would be reached before mid-May when the sport season is due to end. A 2001 spring chinook management agreement between the states of Washington and Oregon, NOAA Fisheries and the tribes set the allowable impact levels on the wild upriver fish.