LA GRANDE, Ore.— The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to release 250 to 300 jack spring chinook salmon into the Powder River to provide a unique fishing opportunity for anglers. A season has been established to harvest these fish beginning on July 14th and extending through September 30th. The open area is from Hughes Lane Bridge near Baker City to Mason Dam.
The daily bag limit is 5 jack spring chinook salmon. Jacks are salmon that mature early, returning to their natal streams after only one year in salt water. By rule they are defined as salmon 15 to 24 inches in length. All anglers are reminded to consult the 2007 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for gear restrictions, legal angling times and other applicable sport fishing regulations.
This opportunity is possible due to an anticipated surplus of jack spring chinook returning to the Imnaha River Weir. The weir is used to collect hatchery broodstock and manage the escapement of hatchery and wild fish released upstream to spawn. More than 500 jacks are expected in surplus of needs for natural production and hatchery broodstock with half of them being allocated to the Powder River fishery.
The salmon will be released immediately below Mason Dam, water temperatures permitting. The releases are planned for July 10-12 and will continue as fish numbers and water quality allow.
Anglers are reminded to “ask first” before entering private lands. For more information contact, Tim Bailey at (541) 962-1829.