This fall, commercial fishermen will have three 12-hour fishing periods on the lower Columbia River, eight open periods at the Tongue Point, Blind Slough and Deep River select areas and six periods in the Youngs Bay select area.
Columbia River Compact agencies of Oregon and Washington met in Astoria Wednesday to set fall chinook fisheries. An audience of about 20 people listened in as resource managers discussed run expectations, gear restrictions and allowable takes.
All select area fisheries except Youngs Bay include 6-inch mesh size restrictions, and all include limits of five white sturgeon per calendar week of open periods. In both states, for both mainstem and select area fisheries, excess white sturgeon must be immediately returned to the water. In Washington, when quick reporting is required, reports must be submitted within five, eight, 12 or 24 hours of the fishery.
Here are the details:
Mainstem fishery: On the lower Columbia mainstem, commercial fishing periods will be open from the mouth to just short of Bonneville Dam on three nights in August starting next week. The first period runs from 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, to 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3. Other periods will be open for 12 hours starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 and Aug. 9.
Maximum mesh sizes are 9 and 9.75 inches for allowable sales of salmon and white sturgeon. A maximum of 12 white sturgeon may be possessed or sold by each participating vessel during each calendar week of the open periods of the mainstem fisheries only.
If properly stored, nets not specifically authorized for the mainstem fishery may be onboard.
Tongue Point/South Channel Select Area: Periods run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Tongue Point/South Channel select area for three nights from Sept. 4 to 7 and Sept. 11 to 14 and four nights from Sept. 17 to 21.
There will also be 16-hour periods from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sept. 24 to 28, Oct. 1 to 5, 8 to 15 and 22 to 26.
At Tongue Point, nets can't be longer than 250 fathoms in length and leadline weight cannot exceed two pounds on any one fathom. At South Channel, nets cannot exceed 100 fathoms long, but there are no leadline weight restrictions.
Blind Slough/Knappa Slough Select Area: Open periods will run from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Sept. 4 to 7, 11 to 14, and 17 to 21. Periods lasting 14 hours will run from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sept. 24 to 28, Oct. 1 to 5, 8 to 12, 15 to 19 and 22 to 26.
Blind Slough will be open Sept. 4 to Oct. 26, but Knappa Slough doesn't open until Sept. 17.
For both areas, nets can't be longer than 100 fathoms, but there is no weight restriction.
Deep River Select Area: Periods will be open 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sept. 3 to 7, 10 to 14, and 17 to 21. Longer, 16-hour periods will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sept. 24 to 28, Oct. 1 to 5, 8 to 12, 15 to 19 and 22 to 26.
Nets can't be longer than 100 fathoms with no weight limit. Nets are not allowed to be tied off on stationary structures or to fully cross the navigation channel.
Youngs Bay Select Area: Periods will run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 to Thursday, Aug. 2 and Aug. 8 to 9. Other periods run from 6 a.m. to noon Aug. 15 to 16 and Aug. 22 to 23; from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. Aug. 28 to 31; and for 16-hour periods from 7 p.m. to noon Sept. 4 through Oct. 31.
Mesh size is 8 inches maximum through Aug. 23 and 6 inches maximum thereafter. Nets cannot exceed 250 fathoms long, and weight on the leadline cannot exceed two pounds per fathom. Additional weight is allowed upstream of markers 200 yards upstream of the Walluski River mouth.