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Fishery managers postpone Columbia River steelhead season

   

Date:

May 13, 2009

Contact:

Chris Kern (971) 673-6031
Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington today postponed the opening of summer steelhead and jack chinook season from Tongue Point upstream to the I-5 Bridge on the Columbia River, which typically opens on May 16 under permanent rules.

The decision was in response to a recent downgrade in the upriver spring chinook forecast by the US v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).  On Monday, TAC downgraded its preseason estimate of nearly 300,000 to a range of 120,000 to 150,000 fish. 

At the current forecasts, spring fisheries that have already taken place will have exceeded the federal Endangered Species Act limits on upriver chinook. The decision to delay the opening of steelhead season will prevent the incidental catch of chinook that would occur in this fishery. 

The summer steelhead season will open no later than June 16, which marks the end of the spring management season for chinook salmon. In the meantime, managers will continue to monitor passage of spring chinook at Bonneville Dam to determine whether they can safely open the fishery prior to June 16. When the steelhead fishery does open, angling for jack chinook and sockeye will also be allowed.

Fishery managers left in place the recreational shad fishing season that opens on May 16 from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia to Bonneville Dam, due to the very low incidental catch of chinook that occurs in this fishery.

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