Columbia River spring Chinook fishery to close above Bonneville Dam

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WDFW Region 5 office, 360-696-6211
Public Affairs contact: Ben Anderson, 360-902-0045

Updated May 4 to clarify that the Wind River also remains open for spring Chinook fishing.

OLYMPIA – With the fishery expected to surpass its allowable catch in the coming days, the spring Chinook recreational fishery on the Columbia River mainstem above Bonneville Dam will close beginning May 4, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have announced.

Originally scheduled to run through May 5, the fishery will now close after Tuesday, May 3.

Fishery managers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that catches of migrating upriver spring Chinook have likely already been met for the section of Columbia River that runs from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Washington/Oregon border.

“It’s been a productive season, and though it’s disappointing to have to close this fishery a couple of days ahead of schedule, it’s necessary to ensure we meet our conservation goals for these upriver Chinook,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with WDFW. “This adaptive approach to managing fisheries in-season is essential to ensuring we remain within our harvest constraints and are able to consider offering additional fisheries moving forward.” 

The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which forecasts and monitors salmon and steelhead returns to the Columbia River, has not yet provided a run-size update on the upriver spring Chinook run. That update typically occurs in mid-May.

Managers will continue to monitor the run and assess the potential for additional opportunities, Lothrop said.

Spring Chinook fishing remains open in the Snake River, Drano Lake, Wind River, and a number of tributaries below Bonneville Dam. Anglers should check WDFW’s emergency rules page before heading out. Permanent rules can be found in the 2021-22 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.