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May 06, 2016
Contact: WDFW Region 5 Office, (360) 696-6211

States extend spring chinook fishery
through Sunday above Bonneville Dam

States extend spring chinook fishery through Sunday above Bonneville Dam

OLYMPIA – Anglers have through Sunday (May 8) to catch and keep spring chinook salmon on a section of the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam under a two-day extension approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

The additional weekend of fishing is expected to bring the recreational chinook catch up to the 1,000-fish guideline set for those waters before the season began in mid-March.

For boat anglers, the fishing area above Bonneville Dam extends from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles above McNary Dam. Bank anglers can also fish in that area, plus the shorelines between Bonneville Dam and the power lines.

Ron Roler, Columbia River policy manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said anglers fishing those waters should do well during the two-day extension.

"Spring chinook were slow in crossing Bonneville Dam until the last week of April, but the pace has picked up dramatically since then," Roler said. "Chinook counts at the dam have topped 10,000 fish several days this week."

Anglers are limited to one adult hatchery chinook salmon as part of their daily limit of two adult fish. Fishing for hatchery steelhead and shad will also be open. 

The two-day extension does not affect salmon fishing in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam, which closed April 8 after meeting a separate catch guideline of 7,515 chinook salmon.

Roler said the delayed movement of salmon past the dam has slowed a planned update to this year's spring chinook run forecast, which could allow additional fishing days in both areas.

"Now that the salmon are moving past Bonneville Dam, I expect to see an run-size update from fishery managers early next week," he said.