June 19, 2014
ENTERPRISE, Ore. – Fishery managers announced today that the spring chinook season scheduled to open this Saturday, June 21 on the Imnaha River has been delayed awaiting the arrival of more hatchery-origin fish.
According to Jeff Yanke, fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, surveys indicate approximately 70 percent of the fish in the Imnaha River are of wild-origin and off limits to harvest.
“Because our sport fisheries are regulated by both the number of wild fish handled and hatchery fish harvested, I’m concerned that opening the fishery this Saturday will exhaust our wild impacts before a substantial hatchery harvest can occur,” Yanke said. The current unseasonably low flows in the Imnaha also could result in higher catch rates for wild fish, Yanke added.
Fishery managers plan to open the fishery in the near future when more hatchery fish are available in the river.
“I realize this delay will disappoint many anglers who were looking forward to fishing on Saturday,” Yanke said. ‘However, we are confident that meeting our conservation responsibility today will result in significantly better fishing opportunities once numbers of hatchery fish begin to arrive’.
Anglers looking to fish salmon this weekend can still fish the Wallowa River, which remains on-schedule to open this Saturday.
Jeff Yanke (541) 426-3279
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023