Fall Chinook Fishing
Fall chinook salmon retention in the middle Columbia River reopened this morning.
Washington and Oregon officials agreed on Friday to allow sportsmen to keep chinook caught between Bonneville Dam and the U.S. Highway 395 Bridge in the Tri-Cities.
Fishing in that stretch closed Sept. 16, once it became apparent sportsmen were going to exceed their chinook catch guideline.
Bill Tweit of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Columbia Gorge fishermen had their season closed just as the salmon were getting that far upstream.
"They essentially got no opportunity,'' he said.
Robin Ehlke of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said the sport fleet will catch an estimated 400 chinook in the mid-Columbia between now and the end of the run.
While the sport fishery still will exceed its allocation, the reopening will not cause commercial fishermen to lose any chinook fishing time, Tweit said.
State, federal and tribal biologists will update the run forecast next week and the number is expected to go up slightly.
"We've got enough tail to this run to cover a very small fishery,'' Tweit said.
Chinook retention remains closed downstream of Bonneville Dam.
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