ENTERPRISE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today announced an emergency closure of the spring chinook fishery on the Imnaha and Wallowa rivers effective at sundown on Sunday, July 25.
Both fisheries had been extended since July 12 because of high water levels that reduced fishing opportunities and larger-than-expected returns to both rivers.
The closure was recommended because harvest quotas are close to being met, and high water temperatures make it difficult to catch and release fish safely. In addition, biologists have observed anglers catching fewer fish because of the low flows and elevated water temperatures.
“We’ve seen great catch rates during the fishery extension, and we’re happy anglers were able to take advantage of the additional opportunity,” said Jeff Yanke, ODFW district fish biologist. “But now it’s time to take the fishing pressure off these salmon for the upcoming spawning season.”