Columbia River Spring Chinook Sportfishing Extendedby Bill Monroe
The Oregonian, April 12, 2012
Columbia River spring chinook salmon anglers will get their longest reprieve yet, with a fishing extension from Friday night's previously planned closure until Sunday evening, April 22. All current rules still apply, including the one-hatchery fish daily bag limit on the Columbia.
Sportfishing, however, will be closed Tuesday, pending consideration of additional commercial fishing.
Oregon and Washington fish managers made the decision Thursday in a telephone conference call, despite fewer than 200 salmon over Bonneville Dam so far.
Commercial gill-netters scored more than 2,600 upriver salmon in a six-hour season Tuesday, most of them caught in or around the estuary near Astoria.
Buoyed by what appears to be the delayed spring run finally entering the river, state biologists decided to allow the longer sport extension.
They cautioned, however, that it's unlikely any additional extensions will be allowed until after a run-update in May. Also, they said, if fishing gets extraordinarily good in the next few days, they could order a closure again when they reconvene next Thursday.
Another meeting is also scheduled Monday to consider additional commercial fishing Tuesday. However, biologists were skeptical since not many salmon remain on the commercial side of lower river quotas.
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