Oregon Sets Spring Chinook, Sturgeon Seasonsby Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife
Natural Resource Report, January 28, 2012
States set spring chinook, sturgeon seasons
Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington set spring chinook salmon and sturgeon retention fishing seasons for the Columbia River today during a joint state hearing.
The Columbia River spring chinook seasons are based on a forecast of 314,000 returning upriver spring chinook, which compares to a 2011 actual return of just over 221,000 fish. Based on the 2012 harvest guideline, 12,700 upriver fish (a combination of kept fish and release mortalities) will be available for the sport fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam.
An additional 3,050 fish will be earmarked for recreational fisheries above Bonneville Dam.
The spring chinook season on the Columbia below I-5 is currently open under permanent rules. The seasons adopted today will take effect March 1. The season will include a 7-days-a-week boat fishery from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock through April 6 with three Tuesday closures. It also will include additional opportunity for bank fishing only from Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam.
The white sturgeon seasons adopted today are based on a total guideline of 10,400 harvestable fish for 2012, a 38 percent reduction from the 2011 guideline. In response to a continued decline in the abundance of legal-sized fish in both the Willamette and Columbia rivers, the directors of Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife earlier this month agreed on a reduction in the harvest rate from 22.5 percent to 16 percent for 2012.
Retention sturgeon fishing is currently open in the Columbia River.
About 50 people including sport and commercial fishers showed up to listen and present testimony at the hearing, conducted in Portland.
The following is a summary of 2012 recreational salmon and sturgeon fishing seasons for the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
Columbia River from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam
Prior to March 1, permanent rules, as outlined in the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, remain in effect.
Boat angling will be allowed seven days per week from March 1 through April 6 from Buoy 10 upstream to Beacon Rock. Bank angling will be allowed during the same timeframe from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam. There will be three Tuesday closures – Mar. 20, Mar. 27 and Apr. 3 – to accommodate commercial fisheries. This fishery will be managed to the available guideline of 12,700 upriver spring chinook.
The daily bag limit is two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon or steelhead in combination, of which no more than one may be a chinook. The rules also allow retention of shad and up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.
Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington border
Effective March 16, this area will be open to retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead and adipose fin-clipped chinook through May 2. This fishery will be managed to the available guideline of 1,700 upriver spring chinook.
The daily bag limit is two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon or steelhead in combination, and up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day.
Fishing for salmon and steelhead between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines, approximately six miles downstream from The Dalles Dam, is restricted to bank fishing only.
The Willamette River will remain open to retention of adipose fin-clipped adult chinook salmon and adipose fin-clipped steelhead seven days a week the entire year.
The bag limit on the Willamette below Willamette Falls is two adipose fin-clipped salmonids, of which both may be chinook. Above the falls, one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be retained under regulations for the combined salmon/steelhead bag limit.
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