July 16, 2013
ENTERPRISE, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife today announced the jack-only spring chinook fishery on the Imnaha River will close effective at sundown this Friday, July 19.
According to Jeff Yanke, ODFW fish biologist, low flows in the Imnaha River have contributed to higher water temperatures that have recently exceeded 68 degrees. These temperatures can be stressful to adult salmon, especially when caught and released in a sport fishery.
The increasing water temperature was also taking a toll on the fishery, putting fish off the bite and significantly reducing angler effort, Yanke added.
The jack-only fishery in the Imnaha remained after a brief three-day adult fishery after the Fourth of July. Chinook fisheries were limited this year by lower-than-average run sizes to Northeast Oregon. According to Yanke, the run size barely exceeded the threshold to offer a fishery.
“We’re disappointed the season didn’t last longer,” Yanke said. “But our conservation responsibilities call for us to take every precaution in order to protect this population by reducing stress on fish.”