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ODFW raises coho salmon bag limit on upper Willamette

August 27, 2009


Editor’s note: The original new release announcing the change in the coho bag limit contains a statement clarifying an earlier release that created some confusion about the type of coho that may be retained under a temporary rule that took effect Sept. 1 on the upper Willamette and its tributaries. Under the rule both fin-clipped and unclipped coho may be retained in these areas.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Anglers may keep an additional coho salmon on the  Willamette River and its tributaries above Willamette Falls under new rules adopted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Effective Sept. 1, the daily bag limit for coho salmon and steelhead in combination increases to three fish on the Willamette River above Willamette Falls, Molalla, and Santiam rivers.  Anglers will also be allowed to keep an additional coho salmon on the Yamhill and Tualatin rivers, which remain closed to steelhead.   

Prior to the rule change, anglers could keep up to three adipose fin-clipped steelhead or two clipped or unclipped coho in the upper Willamette, Molalla, and Santiam. Under the new rule, they can catch up to three fin-clipped steelhead or clipped or unclipped coho in any combination. 

The new rules also provide additional coho angling opportunity in the Santiam basin.  Effective Sept. 1, coho angling  will be allowed in the mainstem Santiam, North Fork up to the Stayton-Scio bridge in Stayton, and South Fork up to the Grant Street bridge in Lebanon.  The rivers above these points will remain closed to salmon angling through October 31 to protect spawning spring chinook.   

Fishery managers are projecting that 700,000 coho will return to the Columbia River this year, which would be the largest return since 2001. Steelhead have also been showing up in record numbers.

“It’s exciting to see salmon and steelhead returning in such large numbers.” said Steve Mamoyac, ODFW fish biologist for the South Willamette Watershed District.  “We are pleased to be able to offer these additional opportunities to anglers.”




Steve Mamoyac           (541) 757-4186 ext. 249
Rick Swart                   (971) 673-6038

Fax: (541) 673-0372
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