OLYMPIA — A large portion of the Lower Columbia River will remain open for recreational Chinook salmon fishing July 9 through July 15, state fishery managers announced today.
Shad fishing from Bonneville Dam to the Dalles Dam will also close July 9-15, in order to reduce impacts on sockeye.
Chinook fishing opened on much of the Columbia River on July 4, and with Chinook returning well above preseason expectations, fishery managers from Oregon and Washington agreed Wednesday to extend the fishery into next week.
The preseason forecast for Chinook returning to the Columbia River mouth was 38,000 fish, but the run estimate has held steady at 65,000 since being upgraded on June 29.
“Whenever a run comes in stronger than expected, it’s good for conservation goals, and it’s good for anglers,” said Bill Tweit, a special assistant with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “We’ll continue monitoring the fishery closely, but it’s great that this opportunity is available for the summer season.”
The Columbia River from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco will be open to Chinook fishing July 9-July 15. The daily limit is 6; up to 2 hatchery adults may be retained. Anglers must release all steelhead and salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Additional Chinook harvest opportunity is available to recreational anglers from the Interstate 182 bridge upstream to the Brewster area.
Fishery managers will continue to monitor catch downstream of the 395 bridge to determine if additional openings can be provided after July 15.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.