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New rules limit wild Chinook harvest on Nehalem to one fish per day through Sept. 15.

June 25, 2015

TILLAMOOK, Ore. -- With the summer chinook salmon season in the Nehalem Bay and River set take off in July, fish biologists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are reminding anglers of changes in daily and seasonal bag limits for 2015.

As listed in the 2015 Sport Fishing Regulation pamphlet, the bag limit for non fin-clipped Chinook salmon in the Nehalem Basin is one fish per day and five for the season through Sept. 15. Beginning Sept. 16, the bag limit will increase to two non fin-clipped Chinook per day. No more than 10 non fin-clipped Chinook may be taken for the Nehalem per year, in aggregate with other North Coast bays and streams.

According to Chris Knutsen, ODFW fish biologist in Tillamook, the one-fish daily bag limit was adopted to reduce harvest impacts on this unique, early-returning summer run.

“The Chinook in the Nehalem Basin arrive earlier than in other coastal basins because they have a long way to go to reach their spawning grounds,” he said. Most of the early fish are bound for the upper Nehalem River or Rock Creek near Vernonia -- almost 90 miles upstream, Knutsen added.

Reducing harvest pressure on this population may be even more important this summer.

“Even during an average summer, the water temperatures in the Nehalem can reach levels that are close to lethal to salmon,” Knutsen said. “With the current drought, this summer could be much worse.”

Also, in anticipation of the upcoming fall salmon season, Knutsen is reminding anglers there will not be a wild coho fishery in Nehalem Bay this year due to low projected returns. Hatchery coho will remain available for harvest.

The change in Chinook harvest management in the Nehalem Bay and River is an action called for under the recently adopted Coastal Multi-Species Conservation and Management Plan, which was developed to address conservation and management of salmon, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout on the Oregon coast from Cape Blanco to Seaside. Learn more about the Coastal Multi-Species Plan, on the ODFW website.

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Contact:

Chris Knutsen (503) 842-2741 ext. 233
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

 
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