Clackamas, Ore. —Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reminds anglers that the last full day of fishing on the mainstem Columbia River is Sunday, April 15 for the 2007 spring Chinook recreational fishery.
Fishery managers met again today to determine if additional fishing time could be added to the recreational fishery below I-5 Bridge that is scheduled to close after Sunday. “Our hope was we would be able to add a few more fishing days to the scheduled season but catches have actually surpassed our predictions and the fishery will achieve the impact guideline by Sunday,” says John North, ODFW Columbia River Fisheries Manager. The season will officially end at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 16 and will mark the end of the recreational fishing season for salmon, steelhead and shad in the mainstem Columbia River between the mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to I-5. Salmon, steelhead, and shad angling is already closed in the Columbia River from the I-5 Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam. Recreational fishing for salmon, steelhead, and shad in the Columbia River from Bonneville to McNary Dam (excluding salmon angling from a boat and from the Washington shore between Bonneville Dam and Tower Island power lines) remains open. All tributaries below Bonneville Dam also remain open as per permanent regulations. If the counts for spring chinook at Bonneville Dam improve during the coming weeks, fishery managers will consider re-opening the fishing seasons. Otherwise, the steelhead season will reopen May 16 from Tongue Point to the I-5 bridge and on June 16 from I-5 upstream to Bonneville Dam. Shad angling is open all year except during April 1-May 15 from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam.
“Although passage at Bonneville Dam has improved recently, the run appears to be late again with less than one thousand fish passing over the Bonneville Dam so far,” says Chris Kern, ODFW Asistant FisheriesManager. “These are indicators of a late run, which is consistent with what we’ve seen the last two years. If it is indeed a late run, there is a strong possibility of opening another fishing opportunity for sport anglers later this spring.”
As of April 10, Chinook passage is significantly below the 10-year average of 19,200 adult spring Chinook, and more comparable to 2005 and 2006, which were late timed runs with a cumulative passage of less than 130 fish through April 10. Late timed runs are less than 1% complete by April 10. Run sizes cannot be updated until early May.
Fish managers set the Columbia River spring chinook fishery based on the number of fish expected to return from the ocean and the allowable impact to wild salmon and steelhead stocks listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
"Impacts" are the unintended mortalities associated with handling and releasing wild fish. This year, non-Indian impacts are limited to 1.5 percent of the total upriver run that includes ESA-listed Snake River spring/summer chinook and Upper Columbia River spring chinook.
Additional information about the Columbia River spring chinook season also may be found on ODFW's Web page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/OSCRP/CRM/action_notes.html.