States Set Spring Chinook Season for March, April
by Bill Monroe
The Oregonian, February 11, 2009
Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington set spring chinook salmon fishing seasons Wednesday for March and April in the Columbia and Willamette rivers but didn't decide the larger issue facing the states.
The seasons are based on a forecast of 298,000 returning upriver spring chinook, with 17,300 fish destined to be caught by anglers below Bonneville Dam. If the chinook run bears out the prediction, it would be the third-highest run on record. Until seasons kick in March 1, fishing remains open in the Columbia and Willamette rivers under permanent rules listed in the angling synopsis.
The season-setting session Wednesday in Longview, Wash., is a temporary truce in the allocation squabble between the Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife commissions. That issue must be settled, the Washington commission has said, before any further sport or commercial seasons can be decided for May and June.
The daily salmon bag limit for these areas will be one adipose-clipped spring chinook. Hatchery steelhead and shad can be retained on the mainstem Columbia only during days and seasons open for retention of adipose fin-clipped spring chinook.
The daily bag limit will also be a single hatchery chinook, but hatchery steelhead can also be caught and kept within the two-fish daily bag limit.
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