Fishery Managers Extend Columbia
by ODFW News Release
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - The recreational spring chinook salmon fishing season from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border will remain open through Saturday, June 15 under rules adopted by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington.
During a joint state hearing fish and wildlife officials from the two states decided to reopen the Chinook salmon season above Bonneville Dam based on the latest improved estimate of salmon returns that provide additional chinook for harvest under management guidelines established earlier in the year.
The revised spring chinook season will take place from the Tower Island power lines approximately six miles below The Dalles Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, plus the Oregon and Washington banks between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines.
The states also decided to expand a section of the Columbia available to boat fishing for chinook salmon below Bonneville Dam. That area extends from Beacon Rock upstream to the Bonneville Dam boat deadline. Under a previous extension of the spring chinook season for the lower Columbia adopted in mid-May, the area above Beacon Rock was open only to bank fishing.
The daily bag limit in both fisheries is two adult salmonids per day, of which only one may be an adipose fin-clipped chinook. Sockeye salmon must be released.
The joint state action is based on revised estimates of salmon returns and harvest data that showed an estimated 1,100 additional upriver spring chinook salmon are still available for harvest, based on management guidelines established earlier in the year. The recent updated forecast shows an expected return of 115,000 upriver spring chinook, which is down from the preseason estimate of 141,400 chinook but up from the May estimate of 107,500.
"It's very nice to be able to offer these additional opportunities," said Steve Williams, deputy administrator of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Fish Division. "While we don't have as many fish as forecast at the beginning of the season the outlook has certainly improved recently. I think this is a very positive outcome because it allows us to roll the spring chinook season directly onto the summer chinook season."
The summer chinook salmon season on the Columbia opens on Sunday, June 16, the day after the spring season closes. The summer chinook fishery is scheduled to continue through June 30 downstream of Bonneville Dam and July 31 upstream, or until harvest guidelines are met.
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