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States set 2020 summer and fall salmon seasons

May 18, 2020

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers recently announced seasons and regulations for 2020 summer and fall Columbia River fisheries.

Although sockeye and fall Chinook returns show improvement from 2019, below average projections for summer Chinook, coho, and upriver summer steelhead will require another year of reduced or closed seasons and bag limits. 

The summer season will be limited to sockeye and steelhead retention.  The weak summer Chinook forecast of 38,000 fish returning to the Columbia River would be slightly better than the 2019 return but still too small to provide for directed harvest in non-treaty fisheries downstream of Priest Rapids Dam.  The improved sockeye forecast of 246,300 will allow for a retention season.

The fall seasons are based on a projected return of 420,400 fall Chinook, which is about 12% higher than the actual return of 375,800 last year.  This year’s forecast includes 227,600 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 212,200 in 2019.  To reduce the chance of exceeding the ESA limit allowed for non-treaty fisheries as occurred in 2017 and 2018, the states intend to manage the fishery based on an allowed harvest rate of 15 percent on the upriver bright stock, but only allocate 8.25 percent prior to the in-season run update.  This conservative approach complicates setting pre-update fisheries, but will hopefully result in some good opportunity post-update for some parts of the river.

“The fall fishery planning process was very challenging this year,” according to John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program.  “Considering the Covid-19 situation, multiple ESA-impact constraints, and uncertainty related to the upriver bright forecast, we struggled to design fisheries that would meet public expectations”.

Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, protective regulations are needed again this fall including a one steelhead daily bag limit in June and July, area-specific steelhead retention closures beginning in August, and Thermal Angling Sanctuaries associated with Eagle Creek, Herman Creek, and the Deschutes River.  These collective actions are intended to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. 

For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at www.myodfw.com.

The following are detailed regulations for the 2020 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summary of 2020 summer/fall salmon and steelhead regulations for the mainstem Columbia River

All regulations may be subject to in-season modification

Summer Season (June 16-July 31)
Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)a

    • Retention of all Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited.
    • Retention of hatchery steelhead and sockeye allowed.  The daily adult bag limit is two adult salmonids, and may include up to one hatchery steelhead. 
    • All sockeye are considered adults in the daily limit and must be recorded as adults on the combined angling tag.

Fall Season (August 1-December 31)
For all fall salmonid fisheries, each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.

Buoy 10

Area definition:
  From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red navigation buoy #44 to the navigation light at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.

General regulations during August 1 – December 31: 
When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, 2) wild coho must be released, 3) retention of jack salmon prohibited until October 1b.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1 – 13: Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • August 14 –27:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (16-inches and longer) allowed.  All steelhead must be released.
    • August 28 – September 22:  Retention of adult hatchery coho allowed.  All Chinook and steelhead must be released.
    • September 23 – October 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (16-inches and longer) allowed.  All steelhead must be released.
    • November 1 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches), adult hatchery coho (16-inches and longer), and hatchery steelhead allowed. 

Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to west Puget Island

Area definition:
From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red navigation buoy #44 to the navigation marker at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line at the west end of Puget Island extending from green navigation marker #39 on the Washington shore to green navigation marker #41, then to red navigation marker #42, and terminating at red navigation marker #44A on the Oregon shore.

General regulations during August 1 – December 31:
  When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, 2) wild coho must be released, and 3) retention of jack salmon allowedb.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1 – 13: Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • August 14 –27:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • August 28 – September 22:  Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 23 – October 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • November 1 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches), adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. 

West Puget Island upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island

Area definition:
From a line at the west end of Puget Island extending from green navigation marker #39 on the Washington shore to green navigation marker #41, then to red navigation marker #42, and terminating at red navigation marker #44A on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red navigation buoy #4, then to the piling dolphin on the lower end of Bachelor Island.

General regulations during August 1 – December 31:
  When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, 2) wild coho must be released, and 3) retention of jack salmon allowedb.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1 – 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released.
    • September 1 – 22:  Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 23 – October 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • November 1 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches), adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. 

Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam

Area definition:
From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red navigation buoy #4, then to the piling dolphin on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.

General regulations during August 1 – December 31:
  When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, 2) wild coho must be released, and 3) retention of jack salmon allowedb.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1-6:  Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • August 7 – September 6:
      • Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (Aug 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28-30, and Sep 4-6):  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released.
      • Monday thru Thursday (Aug 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, and Aug 31-Sep 3):  Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 7 – 22:  Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 23 – October 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • November 1 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches), adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed.

Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dama

General regulations during August 1 – December 31:
  When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, 2) all coho (adults and jacks) retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish, and 3) retention of jack salmon allowed b.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1 – September 8:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • September 9 – 22:  Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 23 – October 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • November 1 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches), adult coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. 

The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dama

General regulations during August 1 – December 31:
  When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, 2) all steelhead must be released, and 3) retention of jack salmon allowedb.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1 – September 8:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed. 
    • September 9 – 22: Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 23 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed. 

John Day Dam upstream to the Hwy 395 Bridge (Pasco, WA)
General regulations during August 1 – December 31:  When salmonid angling is allowed, 1) the daily adult bag limit is one salmonid, and 2) retention of jack salmon allowedb.

  • Additional regulations by date period are described below:
    • August 1 – 31:  Retention of adult (longer than 24-inches) Chinook, adult coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. 
    • September 1 – 8:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 
    • September 9 – 22: Salmonid angling prohibited.
    • September 23 – December 31:  Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and adult coho (longer than 20-inches) allowed.  All steelhead must be released. 

a Temporary rules for Thermal Angling Sanctuaries associated with Eagle Creek, Herman Creek, and the Deschutes River are described below.
b The daily bag limit for jack salmon in Oregon is five fish.

Summary of 2020 summer/fall salmon and steelhead regulations for Columbia River Thermal Angling Sanctuaries and associated Oregon tributaries*.
The sanctuary boundaries span zones so rule modifications are needed in both the Central and Columbia River zones.

Eagle Creek
(Central Zone)

Area definition:
 From the angling deadline in Eagle Creek (200 feet downstream of hatchery fishway entrance) downstream to the mouth at the mainline railroad bridge.

  • June 16 – July 14:  One hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit.
  • July 15 –November 30:  Closed to angling.
  • December 1 – 31:  One hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit.

Eagle Creek Mouth (Columbia River Zone)

Area definition:
The mainstem Columbia River adjacent to the mouth of Eagle Creek from the mainline railroad bridge northwest to a line projecting from a marker on the Oregon shore approximately 200 feet downstream of Eagle Creek, through red navigation buoy #4, and terminating at a marker on the Oregon shore approximately 325 feet upstream of Eagle Creek.

  • June 16 –July 14 and September 16-December 31:  See rules for Columbia mainstem Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam.
  • July 15 – September 15:  Closed to angling.


Herman Creek (Columbia River Zone)

Area definition
: From the mainline railroad bridge downstream to markers at mouth.

  • June 16 – July 14:  One hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit.
  • July 15 –November 30:  Closed to angling.
  • December 1 – 31:  One hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit.

Herman Creek Lagoon (Columbia River Zone)

Area definition
: Herman Creek Lagoon/Cove east of a line from the northwest tip of the jetty, south to a marker on the Oregon shore.

  • June 16 –July 14 and September 16-December 31:  See rules for Columbia mainstem Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam.
  • July 15 – September 15:  Closed to angling.


Deschutes River
(Central Zone)

Area definition:
 From markers at lower end of Moody Rapids downstream to the mouth at Interstate 84 Bridge.

  • June 16 – December 31:  One hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit except closed to angling July 15-September 15.

Deschutes River Mouth (Columbia River Zone)

Area definition:
 The mainstem Columbia River adjacent to the mouth of the Deschutes River from the Interstate 84 Bridge north to a line projecting from the flashing red navigation marker #2 located approximately 1.5 miles downstream of the Deschutes River mouth on the Oregon shore, upstream to the red navigation marker #4, then to the lower South Channel Range “B” marker located on the Oregon shore approximately 0.7 mile upstream of the Deschutes River mouth.

  • June 16 –July 14 and September 16-December 31:  See rules for Columbia mainstem from The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam.
  • July 15 – September 15:  Closed to angling.


 
John Day River (downstream of Tumwater Falls)

  • June 16 – August 31:  one hatchery steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit
  • September 1 – December 31: closed to steelhead retention

  • Permanent regulations apply for other sections of the above tributaries

###

Contact:

John North (971) 673-6029
Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

 
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