May 6, 2014
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Sport fishermen will get an additional two days to get out and catch a Chinook salmon on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam under a season reopening approved today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington.
Spring Chinook fishing will reopen on the lower Columbia on Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 according to rules adopted during a joint state hearing of fish and wildlife officials from the two states.
The joint state action is based on a revised estimate of salmon returns issued on Monday and current harvest data. The latest forecast provides an additional 1,669 upriver spring Chinook salmon for sport fishermen in the Columbia below Bonneville. The revised forecast is for a minimum expected return of 185,000 upriver Chinook, compared to the pre-season management run size of 159,000 upriver Chinook (70 percent of the 227,000 predicted return). Another run update is expected next Monday.
“As the run progresses and we gain more certainty regarding the actual run size, we are able to provide this additional fishing opportunity,” said John North, ODFW’s Columbia River Program manager.
Previously, the lower Columbia had been open to Chinook retention through April 14, followed by a one-day extension on April 19. During those seasons, sport fishermen caught approximately 91 percent of the Chinook available to them at the buffered run size.
Under the rules approved at today’s hearing, the season opens to both boat and bank fishing from Tongue Point upstream to Rooster Rock, and bank fishing only from Rooster Rock on up to Bonneville Dam. The bag limit is two adult adipose fin-clipped salmonids (salmon or steelhead) per day, of which only one may be a Chinook. Shad may also be kept. All sockeye salmon must be released unharmed.
Above Bonneville and upriver to the Oregon/Washington border, Chinook and steelhead retention fishing will continue through May 9 as previously planned.
For more information, visit ODFW’s website at www.dfw.state.or.us.