Upper Snake River Opens
by Henry Miller
Fishing for hatchery fin-clipped fall Chinook salmon will open Sept. 1 on the upper Snake River.
The river will be open from the Oregon –Washington border east of Umatilla to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam.
Fishing will run through Oct. 31, or until 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 through 17.
The daily bag limit will be six adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon. Anglers can also keep an unlimited number of fin-clipped jack Chinook, which are salmon between 15 and 24-inches long.
After decades of low numbers, fall Chinook returns to the Snake River have rebounded in recent years to the point that fishing can be allowed, said Jeff Yanke, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fish biologist in Enterprise.
This is the fifth straight year the Snake fall Chinook fishing has been open after years of closure, Yanke added.
Biologists are predicting a run of 53,500 adult fall Chinook salmon, including 27,500 wild fish, to return to the Snake River above Lower Granite Dam this year.
"The reputation of this fishery is starting to grow, and each year more and more Oregon anglers are participating," Yanke said.
In 2010, the first year fishing was open in years, Oregon anglers accounted for 34 percent of the fishing effort and 36 percent of the take on the Oregon boundary water.
By 2013, those numbers had grown to 44 percent of the effort and 60 percent of the catch.
"We're hoping that the huge return this year, combined with liberal bag limits, will encourage even more anglers to add Snake River Chinook to their list of fall fishing destinations, " Yanke added.
Only barbless hooks are allowed on that stretch of the Snake River, and anglers should check the "2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations" for additional rules.
Snake River fall Chinook migrate more than 800 miles and pass eight mainstream dams to reach Hells Canyon, the farthest any salmon travel in Oregon.
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs