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August 25, 1999
Contact: Dennis Austin, (360) 902-2627

Recreational fishing regulations for Buoy 10 chinook to be reviewed

PORTLAND--The Washington and Oregon departments of Fish and Wildlife will meet at 2 p.m. tomorrow (Aug. 26) to consider changes to the Buoy 10 sport regulations for chinook salmon.

The meeting will be held at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's headquarters at 2501 SW First Ave. in Portland.

WDFW managers are concerned that chinook catches by sport fishers in the Lower Columbia River's Buoy 10 fishery are outpacing pre-season expectations. The strong sport harvest could mean too many Snake River chinook are being harvested. As of last weekend, sport fishers had taken approximately 6,500 chinook. The anticipated catch was 8,900. Current regulations allow anglers to keep two adult chinook (at least 24 inches in length) daily through Sept. 30.

WDFW biologists said they need to review the status of the sport fishery for chinook tomorrow.

The scientists said the unexpectedly large catch of chinook may be due to the fact that more salmon than predicted in preseason forecasts are entering the river. The size of the run cannot be updated until Sept. 10. Until that time the fishery must be based upon the preseason forecast. Department managers do not want to exceed the allowable harvest of Snake River fall chinook that have federal Endangered Species Act protection.

In addition to chinook, sport fishers currently may keep marked hatchery coho. Sockeye and chum must be released.

The agencies will not be considering any change to the Buoy 10 recreational fishing opportunity for coho salmon or sturgeon.