Columbia River Closes to Spring Chinook Anglingby Staff
KATU.com, May 5, 2004
SALEM, ORE. - With a new run size projection that is 44 percent smaller than pre-season forecasts, Oregon and Washington fishery managers have decided to end all sport fishing for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River starting Thursday, May 6.
Areas That Are Affected
The decision affects the area upstream of Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam, as well as the sport fishery in the 'select areas' of the lower Columbia River outside of the main channel in Youngs Bay, Blind Slough/Knappa Slough and Deep River.
Angling for spring Chinook salmon between the Interstate-5 bridge and Bonneville dam was closed on April 22 and sport fishery below the I-5 bridge was closed on May 1.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to remind anglers that the Columbia River will reopen to adipose fin-clipped steelhead fishing between Tongue Point and the I-5 bridge on Sunday May 16.
In addition, tributaries to the Columbia River such as the Willamette and Sandy remain open for salmon and steelhead angling under permanent rules listed in the 2004 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.
Reasons for the Change
Biologists from the Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife departments downgraded their pre-season prediction of the number of spring Chinook destined for areas above Bonneville from 360,000 to 200,000.
Pre-season predictions of the number of fish entering the Columbia River are based on jack counts at Bonneville Dam, the number spawning fish available and other factors.
Biologists are unsure why the actual returns are less than the pre-season predictions, and will continue to evaluate the run.
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