Chinook retention to close on Columbia River below Pasco beginning Oct. 8

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News release

WDFW Region 5 office, 360-696-6211

OLYMPIA – With fewer upriver bright fall Chinook salmon now expected to return to the Columbia River, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed Wednesday to close Chinook retention on the lower and middle Columbia River mainstem effective Oct. 8.

The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which forecasts and monitors salmon and steelhead returns to the Columbia River, met Monday and reduced the 2022 forecast for upriver bright fall Chinook returning to the Columbia. Fishery managers previously estimated that 323,000 upriver brights would return to the mouth of the river in 2022, but based on returns and catch data so far, that forecast was downgraded Monday to 267,000 fish.

Chinook retention will close on the mainstem from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the river to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco beginning Oct. 8. Recreational coho fishing remains open. See additional details at the emergency fishing rules page.

Managers also agreed to rescind two Chinook-directed commercial fishery openers next week.

“Given this significant reduction in expected returns, we had to move quickly to ensure we didn’t exceed our allowable harvest rates on these Chinook,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fisheries manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Closing Chinook-directed fisheries, including Chinook retention in sport fisheries, will reduce those impacts while still allowing fishing for coho fishing in light of the reduced forecast.”

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 fisheries statewide.

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.

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