OLYMPIA – The sport fishery for hatchery spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the Washington/Oregon state line will reopen Saturday (June 8) under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
In addition, fishery managers also agreed to extend the current fishery for boat anglers fishing for salmon in the lower river up to the deadline below Bonneville Dam beginning June 8. That change removes a restriction on fishing for salmon from a boat from Beacon Rock upriver to Bonneville Dam. The lower river reopened to spring chinook fishing May 25.
For details on today’s action, check the fishing rule change at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1317.
Ron Roler, Columbia River policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said an updated run-size forecast indicates at least 115,000 upriver chinook are now expected to return to the Columbia River this year, up from the previous forecast of 107,500.
“The increase in the number of chinook salmon moving upriver allows us to make these changes,” said Roler. “These additional openings provide anglers an opportunity to fish for spring chinook from the mouth all the way upriver to the Washington/Oregon state line.”
Anglers fishing the Columbia River are allowed to retain one hatchery-raised adult chinook salmon per day as part of their daily catch limit. Barbless hooks are required, and anglers must release any chinook salmon not marked with a clipped adipose fin as a hatchery fish.
The Columbia River will be open for spring chinook fishing through June 15. Starting June 16, daily limits and fishing areas change on the Columbia River when the summer chinook fishery gets under way.
For details, check WDFW’s sportfishing pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.