Salmon are Headed Upriverby Staff
The Daily News, September 2, 2010
September is prime time for salmon fishing on the Columbia River basin, as large numbers of fish move upriver and into tributaries on both sides of Bonneville Dam. Anglers fishing the lower river below the dam are expected to reel in nearly 30,000 fall chinook and 13,000 hatchery coho this season - most of which will be taken this month.
"Prospects are good for salmon fishing this month, but it's important to remember these fish are on the move," Joe Hymer, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in a news release. "As the month goes on, successful anglers will follow the fish upriver and into the tributaries."
The retention fishery for chinook salmon ended Tuesday at Buoy 10, but hatchery coho should remain strong below Rocky Point near Altoona throughout the month. Even so, the prospect of catching a hefty chinook salmon is drawing most anglers farther upstream.
Through Sept. 12, anglers may take one chinook per day as part of their limit from Rocky Point upriver to Bonneville Dam. Anglers fishing those waters have a daily limit of six fish, including two adult salmon or steelhead or one of each. The retention fishery for chinook ends Sept. 12 below the Lewis River, but that section will remain open to fishing for hatchery coho, hatchery steelhead and hatchery sea-run cutthroats.
"Anglers targeting chinook do best in fairly deep water -- 40 to 50 feet down," Hymer said. "Some of the best fishing for both salmon and steelhead will be at the mouths of tributaries, where the fish hold up before heading upstream."
As the month progresses, salmon fishing will heat up farther upstream in tributaries ranging from the Cowlitz to the White Salmon rivers, Hymer said. He reminds anglers of several new rules that will be in effect on those rivers this year:
Wild chinook release: New this year, all unmarked chinook (adults and jacks) must be released on the Cowlitz, Toutle, Green, Washougal, Wind and White Salmon rivers, plus Drano Lake and Camas Slough. Like last year, anglers must also release unmarked chinook on the Grays, Elochoman and Kalama rivers.
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