Columbia River Steelhead Limit
by Al Thomas
A new wrinkle in lower Columbia River sport-fishing regulations begins Monday with implementation of a one-steelhead daily limit.
The daily limit has been two hatchery-origin steelhead for decades, but the change was enacted to reduce harvest from a declining run headed for the Snake River.
The one-hatchery-steelhead limit begins Monday downstream of Bonneville Dam, begins Sept. 1 between Bonneville and McNary dams and begins Nov. 1 between McNary Dam, near Umatilla, Ore., and the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco.
Group B steelhead return primarily to Snake River tributaries. Government biologists are forecasting a run of 25,800 Group B steelhead, which is 53 percent of the average, said Robin Ehlke, Columbia River assistant policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The majority of Group B steelhead caught by non-Indians are taken by sportsmen upstream of Bonneville Dam, Ehlke said.
The one-steelhead limit will not apply at Drano Lake.
Drano is a backwater of the Columbia in Skamania County and a popular angling spot at the mouth of the Little White Salmon River where steelhead tend to take a respite from the warmer water of the main river.
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