Columbia Salmon Reopens
by Russ Mohney
The Chronicle, September 26, 2008
A portion of the mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam down to the Lewis River Sanctuary zone, has reopened for retention of chinook salmon. The fishery was restarted after an unexpected surge of upriver brights appeared.
After an early closure on Sept. 14, the new opening kicked off on Sept. 20. Hundreds of boats are now fishing above the Lewis for allowable kings.
The forecast for returning upriver salmon headed for Hanford Reach and the Snake River quickly rose from about 164,000 fish to over 212,000 -- and they are still counting.
The big run is sufficient to permit the WDFW to open a part of the Snake River to upriver bright chinook for the first time since 1988. That fishery started yesterday.
Contributing to the decision to open both the lower Columbia section and the Snake was a new allowable catch rate agreement with Oregon that permits non-tribal fishers to take 11 percent of the run rather than the old 8.5 percent quota.
The new catch rate was approved by both states, the federal government, Idaho, and tribal governments.
The Columbia chinook fishery is subject to close when the new quota is met; anglers looking for a fresh upriver bright might want to get out sooner than later.
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