June 27, 2013
ENTERPRISE, Ore. – ODFW announced today the Imnaha River in northeast Oregon will open to hatchery spring chinook fishing on Friday, July 5 from the mouth upstream 45 miles to Summit Creek Bridge.
From July 5 through July 7, the daily bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult chinook and five fin-clipped jack chinook (two daily jack limits in possession). Beginning July 8, harvest will be limited to fin-clipped jack chinook only, with a daily limit of five. The jack season will continue until further notice.
Jack chinook are salmon between 15 and 24-inches long. Anglers do not need to record jacks on the combined angling tag, but they cannot continue fishing for jacks once they have caught their daily limit of two adult chinook. All non-adipose fin-clipped (wild) chinook must be released unharmed.
The Imnaha spring chinook season is highly anticipated by local anglers, and this year’s announcement of a fishery has come much later than normal, said Jeff Yanke, ODFW district fish biologist in Enterprise.
“The estimated return of adult chinook to the Imnaha is not as robust as I would like,” Yanke said. “We’re working with a pretty tight harvest guideline this year and had to wait a little longer to see if we were going to have enough fish return to open a fishery.”
While predicted adult return is low, biologists expect a large return of jack salmon.
“A jack-only season is new for the Imnaha and we hope it will be a good way to offer a little more fishing opportunity in a year when adult returns are so low,” Yanke said.
Much of the area open to fishing is bordered by private lands, and anglers are reminded to obtain permission before entering private land and to pick up trash when leaving. Anglers also are asked to be respectful of any tribal members they may encounter who are fishing for chinook using traditional methods.