Columbia River Spring
by Mark Yuasa
The Technical Advisory Committee met today (May 10) and updated the Columbia River spring chinook return to 350,000 fish, plus or minus 20,000. So, it could be as large as 370,000 or as low as 330,000 at this point in time.
"The (Bonneville) Dam fish counts were just stable, and no big increase this past weekend," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.
On May 8, the single-day count at Bonneville was 5,655 spring chinook, and May 9 it was 7,306. So far this season the total run count is 194,840 adult spring chinook.
The TAC will meet again next Monday, May 17.
Here are some of the latest changes in regulations:
Columbia River above Bonneville Dam -- The spring chinook and steelhead fishery is now closed between Bonneville and McNary dams. this include all areas from Tower Island power lines in Bonneville Pool upstream to McNary Dam, plus Washington bank between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines.
Large numbers of spring chinook caught combined with uncertainty surrounding the upriver run size has prompted Washington and Oregon salmon managers to take action to close the fishery before the scheduled May 31 end date. An estimated 3,400 chinook will have been caught in this area by May 9. The hatchery summer chinook and hatchery steelhead season above Bonneville Dam begins June 16.
Deep River -- The hatchery spring chinook fishery is now open from the mouth to the town bridge The fishery was closed temporarily to avoid the handling of upriver spring chinook that had strayed into Deep River. At this point in the upriver run, the number of nonlocal chinook straying into Deep River is expected to be minimal, allowing for angling opportunity to resume on fish returning to the Deep River net pen sites.
Lake Scanewa -- The lake is open now through May 31 for hatchery spring chinook Through April 30 over 500 spring chinook have been trucked to Lake Scanewa for sport fishing opportunity and reintroduction efforts.
Daily limit is six hatchery salmon, no more than two may be adults. Wild chinook must be released. Minimum size is eight inches.
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