VANCOUVER--Sport salmon and hatchery steelhead fishing in the Columbia River below the Interstate 5 bridge will close at 12:01 a.m. Thursday (March 11) to protect spring chinook, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.
Salmon fishing in the Columbia upstream of the Interstate 5 bridge closed Jan. 1.
Sport fishing for hatchery steelhead will remain open from Bonneville Dam to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco through March 31.
The March 11 fishery closures are necessary because WDFW biologists expect only 24,600 spring chinook to pass Bonneville Dam in 1999. That would be the third smallest run on record. WDFW's spawning goal for spring chinook at Bonneville Dam is 115,000 adult fish.
Sport salmon fishing in the Columbia from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco may reopen Aug. 1, depending on the results of this year's North of Falcon season-setting process which culminates on April 9.
Sport steelhead fishing from the Interstate 5 bridge downstream to the Megler- Astoria Bridge will reopen May 16. On June 16, it reopens for the section of the Columbia from the Interstate 5 bridge upstream to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco.
Shad fishing below Bonneville Dam remains open to 12:01 a.m. Thursday. That fishery reopens May 16.