OLYMPIA – The fishery for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon will re-open May 7 for four more days of fishing on a section of the Columbia River stretching 163.5 miles above Bonneville Dam.
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed Wednesday to re-open the fishery through May 10 because the number of spring chinook passing the fish ladder at Bonneville Dam significantly increased over the last week, said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The fishery closed earlier this week.
“We haven’t done an official run update yet, but the recent dam counts are strong enough to allow anglers four more days of fishing and still remain within the current buffered harvest guideline for the area,” LeFleur said.
Above Bonneville Dam, fishing for hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon will be open to boat and bank anglers between the Tower Island powerlines below The Dalles Dam and the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. Bank fishing is also allowed from Bonneville Dam upriver to the powerlines located about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam.
Anglers fishing above Bonneville Dam can retain up to two marked, hatchery-reared adult chinook salmon or hatchery steelhead as part of their daily limit. All wild salmon and wild steelhead must be released unharmed.
Salmon fishing below Bonneville Dam remains closed at this time.
Harvest guidelines for spring chinook fisheries above and below Bonneville Dam are based on a projected return of 198,400 upriver fish, minus a 30 percent “buffer” to guard against overestimating the run.
LeFleur said additional fishing time may be allowed in both areas if a run update confirms that returns are large enough to allow more harvest by non-Indian fishers. A run update could occur as early as next week, she said.