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

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April 29, 2003
Contact: Tim Flint, (360) 902-2728
or Cindy LeFleur, (360) 906-6708

Columbia River spring chinook sport fishing trimmed from Bonneville to McNary dams

OLYMPIA-Sport fishing for Columbia River hatchery spring chinook salmon will be reduced to four days a week between Bonneville and McNary dams effective Sunday, (May 4), state fish managers have announced.

Fishing will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays only from the Tower Island power lines in Bonneville Pool upstream to McNary Dam. That section of river is scheduled to close for the season May 16, although fishing could end earlier if the allowable impact on protected upriver fish is reached before then.

Meanwhile in the lower river, fishing for adipose fin-clipped salmon will continue-for the time being-on the same Wednesday-through-Saturday schedule from the Interstate 5 bridge to Buoy 10.

Washington and Oregon fish managers will meet again Monday (May 5) to reassess the size of the spring chinook run destined for areas above Bonneville Dam-currently projected to be 193,000 fish-and modify the fishery if necessary.

So far this season, spring chinook anglers have landed 22,800 fish and retained 14,600 hatchery-reared fish below Bonneville Dam. Above the dam, fishers have landed 1,140 fish and kept 640 hatchery fish.

Under a management agreement between the federal government, states and tribes, the non-tribal spring chinook fishery is managed to limit the impact on protected upriver wild fish to not more than 2 percent of the wild upriver run. The impact reflects wild fish mortality that results from being inadvertently caught and released.