Snake Opens Sunday for Chinook
by Henry Miller
The upper Snake River opens Sunday for hatchery fin-clipped fall-run Chinook Salmon.
The river will be open from the Oregon/Washington border to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam and will remain open until Oct. 31 or a closure is announced.
In addition, the reach from Cliff Mountain Rapid at River Mile 246.7 upstream to the deadline at Hells Canyon Dam will be open from Nov. 1-17.
The daily bag is six adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon. Anglers can also keep and unlimited number of fin-clipped jack Chinook.
Chinook jacks are salmon between 15 and 24-inches long.
It is the fourth year in a row that fall Chinook fishing has been open after decades of being closed because of low returns.
Fall Chinook returns to the Snake River have rebounded in recent years because of increased hatchery production and ocean productivity.
Fishery managers at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are expecting a run of more than 41,000 fall Chinook salmon to return to the Snake above Lower Granite Dam this year.
"Each year we are seeing more and more Oregon anglers take advantage of this unique opportunity," said Jeff Yanke, the department's district fish biologist in Enterprise. "We're hoping that another large return combined with liberal bag limits will translate into lots of great fishing."
Only barbless hooks are allowed on that stretch of the Snake River, and anglers should check the "2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations" for other rules that may apply.
Snake River fall Chinook migrate more than 800 miles and pass eight mainstream dams to reach Hells Canyon, the farthest they will travel in Oregon.
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