OLYMPIA – Beginning Saturday (Aug. 24), anglers in the Buoy 10 sport fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River will be restricted to one chinook salmon as part of their two-fish daily limit, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced.
The bag limit originally was set at two chinook or hatchery coho salmon per day when the Buoy 10 fishery opened Aug. 1. Under the change, fishers will still be allowed to keep two salmon per day, but only one of those may be a chinook. Minimum sizes of 16 inches for hatchery coho and 24 inches for chinook will remain unchanged. All chum, sockeye and unmarked (wild) coho must be released.
Washington and Oregon fish managers are reducing the daily bag limit in order to remain within the fishery's management objectives, one of which was to allow chinook sport fishing to remain open at least until Labor Day.
As of last Sunday (Aug. 18), an estimated 7,700 chinook were caught in an estimated 31,500 angler trips in the Buoy 10 area, which extends from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line.
The fall chinook run returning to the Columbia River is projected to total 659,800 fish this year, the third largest return on record. However, stocks protected under federal Endangered Species Act are mingled with hatchery-produced fish in the returning run, constraining all fisheries on the river.
For fishing rule change updates, anglers should consult the WDFW fishing hotline at (360) 902-2500 or the department's website on the Internet.