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Buoy 10 closes to Chinook retention Saturday – coho remains open

Aug. 27, 2015

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers announced today that the Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River will close to all Chinook retention after Friday, Aug. 28. The area will remain open for hatchery (fin-clipped) coho.

The closure was necessary because of higher than predicted catches of and impacts on ESA-listed tule Chinook salmon – the major constraint on lower Columbia River fall fisheries. Earlier this week the fishery closed to the retention of wild (non fin-clipped) Chinook. However, according to Chris Kern, ODFW Fish Division deputy administrator, even with that change the ongoing monitoring showed catch rates continued to be high enough to exhaust the remaining tule impacts.

Despite the early closure for Chinook retention, the 2015 Buoy 10 season has been record setting. Angler effort has been among the highest observed and angler catch rates have been 30 percent higher than the previous record set in 2013.  With four fishing days yet to be counted, harvest this year has already exceeded the 2014 catch by 6,000 fish.  The preseason expectation was for a catch of 34,900 Chinook, which is likely to be exceeded by Friday.

“If we don’t take this action now, we put the remaining upstream sport fishery at risk,” Kern said. Each section of the river is assigned its own allocation of tule impacts. If the Buoy 10 fishery exceeds its allowable impacts, they must be taken from the upriver sport fishery, which could reduce already limited opportunities in that section of the river.
 
Chinook harvest at Buoy 10 is scheduled to re-open on Oct. 1 following the expected September migration of wild tules into lower river tributaries. Beginning Aug. 29, anglers may transport Chinook salmon caught in adjacent fisheries (such as the ocean or the Columbia River above Tongue Point) through the Buoy 10 area, but cannot fish for salmon in the Buoy 10 area if they have Chinook onboard.

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Contact:

Chris Kern (503) 947-6209
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

 
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