Chinook Fishing Reopens Saturday
by Roger Phillips
Beginning Saturday, the lower Columbia River reopens for keeping Chinook salmon.
The decision to allow catch-and-keep fishing for Chinook was made jointly by officials with the Oregon and Washington departments of Fish and Wildlife after estimates of the run size of so-called upriver brights was raised based counts of returning adults.
Under that agreement, anglers will be allowed to catch and keep an adult Chinook salmon as part of their daily catch limit from the lower end of Bachelor Island, near the mouth of the Lewis River on the Washington side of the Columbia, upriver to Bonneville Dam.
Chinook fishing in that stretch of the river will stay open until further notice, Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, says in a press release announcing the decision.
"We're pleased that this run is coming in so much stronger than expected," she says. "This season is turning out quite a bit better than we expected."
Earlier this month, tens of thousands of anglers fishing from Rocky Point to Bonneville Dam caught 9,200 chinook during 16 days of fishing.
A technical advisory committee increased the estimated size of the upriver bright run to 212,500 fish, compared with the pre-season forecast of 164,400 fish.
And it gets better.
The healthy run could open Chinook fishing in the lower Snake River in the coming weeks, LeFleur says.
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