Fall Chinook Seasonby Staff
One of the most popular salmon seasons of the year begins Aug. 1, as coho and fall chinook enter the Columbia River from the ocean and provide anglers with excellent fishing opportunities.
The "Buoy 10" fishery occurs at the mouth of the Columbia, which is strongly influenced by the ocean. At this location, coho and chinook remain active feeders and boats need not cross a river bar.
Each year about 100,000 angler trips are generated by people participating in the Buoy 10 fishery, contributing greatly to the economy of the lower Columbia region.
Biologists are cautious about the run size, given the lower-than-expected returns in other salmon fisheries this year, but they say anglers still can expect plenty of fish.
"I expect the fall chinook fishery to start slowly and then improve dramatically in mid-August," said Curt Melcher, a biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Coho and chinook run sizes are expected to be reduced from last year. The run size for fall chinook is expected to be 671,500 fish, compared to more than 792,000 fall chinook last year.
For coho, biologists forecast that 206,400 will return to the Columbia River, compared to more than 446,000 coho last year.
Anglers are reminded to use caution when fishing in the Columbia River near the mouth.
Maritime conditions can be extremely hazardous and unpredictable and have led to fatal boating accidents.
The Columbia River upstream of the Buoy 10 fishing area also opens for fall chinook, coho and steelhead Aug. 1. ODFW reminds Columbia River anglers of the following regulations:
In addition, many coastal river fall fisheries begin Aug. 1 for fall chinook and coho. Anglers should check the 2005 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for more information.
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