CLACKAMAS, Ore. -- Chinook anglers on the Columbia River will have an unexpected opportunity to take home a sockeye salmon when the summer chinook fishing season opens on Saturday.
Due to much higher than average counts of sockeye salmon passing Bonneville Dam, Oregon and Washington fishery managers decided today to allow retention of sockeye salmon during upcoming summer chinook fisheries.
From the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam the river will be open to the retention of sockeye from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 21 through Saturday, June 28. From Bonneville Dam upstream to Priest Rapids Dam the season extends from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, June 21 through Thursday, July 31, 2008.
All sockeye are considered adults, regardless of size, and are included in the daily bag limit of two adult salmon or steelhead.
“The 2008 sockeye run is shaping up to be considerably larger than forecast,” said Chris Kern, fish biologist with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Normally, anglers encounter very few sockeye; however, catch rates so far this summer have been much higher than normal. This change allows anglers the opportunity to keep sockeye they catch during the summer chinook season.”
Harvest in non-tribal fisheries is limited to less than 1% of the total sockeye run, and fishery managers estimate up to 1,000 sockeye will be handled during the recreational season.