Clackamas, Ore — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reminds anglers that fall salmon fishing season opens August 1, 2007. Due to new conservation requirements, anglers on the Columbia River and Buoy 10 will need to be aware of changes to the traditional fall fisheries including new bag limits, open areas, and time periods.
The states of Oregon and Washington have made several changes to the 2007 fall salmon season in response to new conservation requirements for lower Columbia fall Chinook and the need to reduce in-river harvest rates on these stocks.
“In most years, lower river fisheries have been primarily constrained by conservation needs for upriver fall Chinook. However, this year, we’re anticipating that the conservation needs for lower Columbia fall Chinook will be the most constraining factor,” says Chris Kern, Assistant Columbia River Fisheries Manager. “We’re hoping that seasonal closures to certain areas will reduce the harvest of those lower river stocks, to allow us to maximize the recreational opportunities for other salmon stocks, like the popular upriver bright Chinook.”
Plans for these closures were developed during the Pacific State’s Marine Fisheries Commission North of Falcon public process in March and April of 2007. During this process, agency management and policy staff met with representatives from commercial and sportfishing industries as well as members of the public to discuss fisheries options for fall of 2007.
The Buoy 10 fishery will be open to retention of Chinook with a two fish daily bag limit (only one may be a Chinook) from August 22 through September 3 and from October 1 through December 31. The Buoy 10 fishery will be closed to retention of Chinook from August 1 through 21 and from September 4 through September 30.
The lower Columbia River between Tongue Point-Rocky Point and a line projected between the lower end of Bachelor Island (Washington shore) and Warrior Rock Lighthouse (Oregon shore) will be closed to retention of fall Chinook between September 5th and September 30th. Areas closed to Chinook retention will remain open for retention of adipose fin-clipped coho and steelhead; however, all Chinook must be released unharmed. During periods open for retention of Chinook, the daily bag limit will be two fish, but only one may be a Chinook.
The area below the Bachelor Island-Warrior Rock line includes the popular fishery below the mouth of the Lewis River. The closure to retention of Chinook in this area is necessary to provide additional protection for lower Columbia fall Chinook stocks, many of which are destined for the Lewis River and other tributaries downstream of the Lewis River.
Anglers are also reminded that fall lower Columbia river salmon fisheries are managed by harvest quotas based upon the percentage of the run that can be harvested. Therefore, changes in estimates of run sizes during the fishing season can impact the allowable harvest. Anglers should check for the latest information from the ODFW or WDFW websites and telephone hotlines, or local newspapers and media outlets during the fishing season.
Anglers can find the latest fishing regulations and information regarding closures on
the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/. Or on the ODFW telephone hotline at 1-503-947-6000.
Additional information may also be ound on ODFW's Web page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/OSCRP/CRM/action_notes.html.