Snake River Opens Sept. 1
by Henry Miller
The upper Snake River opens Sept. 1 to fishing for hatchery fall Chinook fishing.
The river will be open from the OR/WA border east of Umatilla to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam at River Mile 247 and will remain open until Oct. 31, or until a closure is announced.
In addition, the reach from Cliff Mountain Rapid (at River Mile 246.7) upstream to the deadline at Hells Canyon Dam will be open from Nov. 1 through 17.
The daily bag limit will be six adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon. You also can keep an unlimited number of fin-clipped jack Chinook.
Chinook jacks are defined as those between 15 and 24 inches long.
"Fall chinook runs in the Snake River have been impressive in recent years," said Kyle Bratcher, a fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife office in Enterprise. "We expect fewer fish than last year, however we're still projecting a very strong run topping 35,000 fish into the Snake River Basin."
In recent years, more and more Oregon anglers have discovered this productive fishing thanks to liberal bag limits and a long season.
"With strong runs, this fishery has provided some fantastic opportunities for northeast Oregon anglers to take home a cooler full of hatchery fish," Bratcher said.
Only barbless hooks are allowed on that stretch of the Snake, and anglers should check the "2015 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations" for other rules that apply.
Snake River fall Chinook migrate more than 800 miles and pass eight dams to reach Hells Canyon, the farthest that any salmon travel in Oregon.
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