Portions of lower Columbia River to reopen for salmon fishing

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WDFW Southwest Region, 360-696-6211

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Mark Yuasa

OLYMPIA – The popular Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River will reopen for hatchery coho salmon fishing beginning Sept. 15, while another section of the lower river will reopen for Chinook and hatchery coho on the same day, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced Tuesday.

The river was closed to recreational salmon fishing below Bonneville Dam in early September due to concern over impacts to lower Columbia River “tule” Chinook salmon, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed that due to the migratory path and timing of these Chinook, some recreational fishing could resume with minimal additional impacts to ESA-listed fish.

“We believe this two-week closure accomplished its goal, which was to prevent any additional lower-river tule impacts to the recreational fishery,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fisheries manager with WDFW. “The coho run appears to still be coming in strong, and we hope anglers get out and take part in what should be some good fishing during the second half of September and into October.”

So far this fall, nearly 399,000 adult Chinook and 70,000 adult coho bound for the upper regions of the Columbia have passed over Bonneville Dam.

The section of the Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line will open for retention of hatchery coho beginning Thursday, Sept. 15, with an adult daily limit of three hatchery coho. Anglers must release all salmon and steelhead other than hatchery coho.

Also on Sept. 15, a section of river from the eastern tip of Reed Island to Bonneville Dam will open for retention of Chinook and hatchery coho, with an adult daily limit of two salmon, only one of which may be an adult Chinook. Anglers must release wild coho. To see all regulations and a map of the boundary line from the eastern tip of Reed Island, visit WDFW’s emergency fishing and shellfishing rules webpage.

The section of river from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to the East Reed Island boundary, including Camas Slough, remains closed to salmon fishing.

As always, anglers should be sure to check the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet to see permanent regulations for the section of river where they hope to fish, as well as WDFW’s emergency rules webpage for updates to this and other fisheries across the state.

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.