Lower Columbia River salmon and steelhead fishery update

December 18, 2023

Action: Opens hatchery steelhead retention from The Dalles Dam upstream to the Washington/Oregon border. Maintains previously announced Chinook retention regulations through 2023.

Species affected: Salmon and steelhead.

Effective Date: Immediately, through March 31, 2024.

Locations and rules:

From a true north and south line projected through Buoy 10 upstream to the west end of Puget Island (a line at the west end of Puget Island projected from green navigation marker 39 on the Washington bank to green navigation marker 41, then to red navigation marker 42, and terminating at red navigation marker 44A on the Oregon bank):

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Daily limit is six (6). Up to three (3) adults including no more than one Chinook and no more than two (2) hatchery steelhead may be retained. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead.

From the west end of Puget Island upstream to Beacon Rock:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Daily limit is six (6). Up to two (2) adults including no more than one (1) Chinook and no more than two (2) hatchery steelhead may be retained. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead.

From Beacon Rock upstream to a line from the Hamilton Island boat ramp to an Oregon boundary marker on the westernmost point of Robins Island to a marker on the Oregon mainland shore:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Closed.

From a line from the Hamilton Island boat ramp to an Oregon boundary marker on the westernmost point of Robins Island to a marker on the Oregon mainland shore upstream to a point 600 feet below the new Bonneville Dam Powerhouse:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Daily limit is six (6). Up to two (2) adults including no more than one (1) Chinook and no more than two (2) hatchery steelhead may be retained. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead.

From Bonneville Dam to Hood River Bridge:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Daily limit is six (6). Up to two (2) adults including no more than one (1) Chinook and no more than two (2) hatchery steelhead may be retained. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead.

From Hood River Bridge upstream to The Dalles Dam:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31:  Daily limit is six (6). Up to two (2) adults including no more than one (1) Chinook and no more than two (2) hatchery steelhead may be retained. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook, coho, and hatchery steelhead.

From a line starting from a fishing boundary sign on the Washington north shore located approximately 1,300 feet upstream of The Dalles Dam and Lock boat ramp projected easterly across the Columbia River to a boundary sign on the Washington southern shore located approximately 200 feet above the fish ladder exit upstream to Highway 730 at the Washington/Oregon border:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Daily limit is six (6). Up to two (2) adult salmon including no more than one (1) Chinook. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook and coho.
  • Jan. 1 through March 31, 2024: Daily limit is two (2) hatchery steelhead.  Release all salmon and steelhead other than hatchery steelhead.

From Highway 730 at the Washington/Oregon border upstream to Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco:

  • Immediately through Dec. 31: Daily limit is six (6). Up to two (2) adult salmon including no more than one (1) Chinook. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon and steelhead other than Chinook and coho.

Reason for action: The Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee’s (TAC) most recent runsize update of the 2023 upriver summer steelhead (A-, B- Index) total return was 112,500 at Bonneville Dam compared to the preseason forecast of 67,800. Current abundances, in-season assessments of harvest, and projections allow for hatchery steelhead retention opportunity in mainstem areas upstream of The Dalles Dam to the Washington/Oregon border.

Additional information: Barbless hooks required from Buoy 10 to Washington/Oregon border. Additional rules and area descriptions can be found in the 2023/24 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Ridgefield Region 5 Office, 360-696-6211.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on definitions and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at 360-902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call toll free 866-880-5431.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-855-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.