OLYMPIA – Columbia River anglers will again be able to keep chinook salmon they catch between Bonneville Dam and the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco under a new rule approved today by fishery managers in Washington and Oregon.
The new rule – approved less than three weeks after the area was closed to chinook retention – takes effect Saturday (Sept. 30) at 12:01 a.m. and runs through Dec. 31.
Bill Tweit, Columbia River policy leader for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the latest action was triggered by the fact that the number of chinook salmon migrating upriver past Bonneville Dam have been significantly higher since mid-September than expected.
“Anglers fishing above Bonneville Dam didn’t get much of a chance to take home chinook salmon earlier in the season,” Tweit said. “The additional fish we’re seeing now will allow us to provide some additional fishing time in that area, without exceeding conservation guidelines or compromising the commercial fishery in the lower river.”
Tweit noted that anglers must still release any chinook salmon they catch downstream from Bonneville Dam to Rocky Point/Tongue Point near Astoria. Anglers fishing in that area may, however, retain hatchery coho and steelhead, which can be identified by a missing adipose fin.
Additional regulations are described in WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rule pamphlet, available on-line at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.