OLYMPIA – Starting Sunday (Sept. 18), anglers will be required to release any chinook salmon they catch on the lower Columbia River between the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line and Bonneville Dam, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The new rule, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, does not affect fishing for other species of salmon or steelhead in the lower river, nor does it affect chinook retention in the Buoy 10 fishery near the mouth of the Columbia River.
Tim Flint, WDFW salmon manager, said fishery managers in Washington and Oregon agreed to end chinook retention in the lower Columbia after reducing their estimate of returning “upriver bright” chinook from 354,600 fish to 280,000 fish.
“Anglers have been catching chinook at a faster pace than anticipated, while expectations have declined for the return of upriver brights,” Flint said.
Flint noted that the upriver bright run includes salmon bound for the Snake River that are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.