VANCOUVER, Wash. – The popular Buoy 10 fishery for chinook salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River will close tonight as scheduled, even though anglers have caught only about half as many fish as expected.
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon decided against extending the season because the portion of the catch from lower-river stocks has actually exceeded preseason estimates.
Both states had hoped to extend the chinook fishery through Labor Day, but doing so may have reduced the number of fish available for harvest farther upriver, said Bill Tweit, Columbia River policy leader for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“The total catch of chinook was just one consideration in whether to extend the fishery,” Tweit said. “The final decision rested on how an extension would affect ongoing sport fisheries upstream of Buoy 10.”
Although the chinook fishery ends tonight below Rocky Point, anglers can still catch and keep two hatchery-reared coho, steelhead, or one of each in the lower 16 miles of the Columbia River. Hatchery fish can be identify by a missing adipose fin and healed scar near their tail.
Farther upriver, anglers may retain one chinook salmon as part of their daily limit from Rocky Point to Bonneville Dam or two chinook from the dam to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco. For more information on fishing seasons in Washington state, see WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.