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May 17, 2005
Contact: Cindy LeFleur (360) 906-6708

Columbia River steelhead, shad sport fisheries opening May 22

VANCOUVER - With a slight increase in the forecast of returning upriver spring chinook salmon, Washington and Oregon state fisheries managers have agreed to open sport fishing for steelhead and shad on portions of the lower Columbia River beginning Sunday, May 22.

Fishing for steelhead on the Columbia River will be allowed beginning May 22 from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the I-5 Bridge. Shad fishing also opens May 22 from the mouth of the river upstream to Bonneville Dam. Chinook hooked during these fisheries must be immediately released unharmed, except hatchery chinook jacks may be retained downstream of the I-5 Bridge.

The sport fisheries for steelhead and shad in the lower river were initially scheduled to open May 16, but were delayed to reduce potential impacts on a smaller-than-anticipated return of upriver spring chinook salmon, said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

LeFleur said the decision to open the fisheries came after Washington and Oregon state fishery managers reviewed updated runsize projections and potential fishery impacts for spring chinook salmon stocks. Managers determined that any impacts on listed stocks from sport steelhead and shad fisheries would stay within federal guidelines, she said.