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STURGEON FISHING CLOSING ON DALLES POOL

posted by Mike on 01/05/2019

The Dalles Pool closes early for sturgeon retention fishing

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced today that The Dalles Pool on the Columbia River will close to sturgeon-retention fishing in at the end of day Sunday, Jan. 6.

The announcement came just four days after the fishery opened Jan. 1, prompted by much higher catches than anticipated in the first three days of fishing.

Bill Tweit, a special assistant at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said an immediate closure was necessary to prevent the harvest from exceeding the quota of 135 white sturgeon in those waters.

"The catch mounted much faster than expected," Tweit said. "The water temperature was higher than usual, but we don't know for certain what caused the bite to come on so strong."

The Dalles Pool, which stretches from The Dalles Dam upriver to John Day Dam, will remain open to catch-and-release fishing.

Bonneville Pool and John Day Pool, two other areas of the Columbia River that also opened for white sturgeon fishing Jan. 1, will remain open to retention fishing until further notice.

In the Bonneville Pool, anglers may retain white sturgeon measuring 38-54 inches (fork length) between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam under a catch guideline of 325 fish.

In the John Day Pool, anglers may retain white sturgeon measuring 43-54 inches (fork length) between John Day Dam and McNary Dam until the catch reaches the 105-fish guideline.

The daily limit in those areas is one white sturgeon per day, with an annual limit of two legal-size fish.

HANFORD REACH TO CLOSE FOR STEELHEAD - NOVEMBER 10TH

posted by Mike on 11/08/2018

Hanford Reach steelhead fishery to close Nov.10

Action: Closes steelhead fishing on the Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge (Pasco/Kennewick) upstream to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers.

Effective date: Nov. 10 until further notice.

Species affected: Steelhead.

Location: Highway 395 Bridge (Kennewick/Pasco) upstream to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers.

Reason for action: Steelhead returns to Ringold Springs Hatchery this fall are extremely low (96). The closure is needed to ensure sufficient numbers of steelhead will be available for broodstock to meet hatchery production. 

Additional information: This year's return of Ringold Springs Hatchery steelhead is the lowest return on record in the past 18 years. A total of 300,000 fertilized eggs are needed at Ringold Springs Hatchery this spring to meet the production of 180,000 juvenile steelhead scheduled for release in 2020.

Information contact: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284.

 

SALMON & STEELHEAD FISHING TO CLOSE SEPTEMBER 12TH IN PORTION OF COLUMBIA

posted by Mike on 09/12/2018

 

Most of the Columbia River closIng to salmon and steelhead fishing

OLYMPIA – Starting Thursday (Sept. 13), fishing for salmon will be closed on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Hwy 395 in Pasco under new rules approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon

Deep River in Washington and other tributaries in Oregon (Youngs Bay, Tongue Point/South Channel, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough) are also closed to salmon and steelhead angling.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) already prohibited steelhead retention in much of the same area of the Columbia River several weeks ago, and the new emergency rule closes angling for both salmon and steelhead in those waters as well.

Bill Tweit, Columbia River fishery coordinator for WDFW, said the counts of fall chinook at Bonneville Dam are 29 percent below preseason forecasts, and on-going fisheries are approaching the allowable catch limits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

"We recognize that this closure is difficult for anglers, but we have an obligation to meet our ESA goals so that fisheries can continue in the future," he said.

Tweit said the upriver fall chinook run provides the bulk of the harvest opportunity for fall fisheries, but that returns in recent years has been declining due to unfavorable ocean conditions. The preseason forecast for this year is 47 percent of the 10-year average return of upriver bright fall chinook.

The new emergency fishing rule is posted on WDFW's website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

 

COLUMBIA RIVER SOCKEYE OPEN JULY 1ST

posted by Mike on 06/29/2018

Sockeye fishery to open on Columbia River,
but chinook season to close on lower stretch

Starting July 1, anglers can catch and keep sockeye salmon on the Columbia River, but will be required to release any chinook salmon they intercept downriver from Bonneville Dam.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to modify fishing rules in joint waters of the Columbia, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) followed up by extending the sockeye fishery upstream to Chief Joseph Dam.

Before the season got underway, both states agreed to forgo scheduling any sockeye fisheries on the Columbia River due to low projected returns, especially those to the Wenatchee River.

However, an updated run forecast now projects that 209,000 sockeye will return this year – up from the 99,000 previously estimated – providing a sufficient number of fish for recreational fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia, said Bill Tweit, a WDFW special assistant.

“It’s always exciting to see salmon come in above the pre-season forecast,” Tweit said. “Sockeye can be elusive in the lower river, but anglers generally do well fishing for them from the Tri-Cities to Brewster.”

Snake River fisheries remain closed to protect Snake River sockeye listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

While the preseason forecast for summer chinook has not yet been updated, Tweit said current data indicate that chinook returns are tracking about 20 percent below the initial projection of 67,300 adult fish. That prompted fishery managers to close the lower Columbia River summer chinook season four days earlier than previously scheduled.

“Based on the low catches to date above Bonneville, we decided to close the chinook fishery in the lower river but leave it open upriver from the dam,” Tweit said.

Starting July 1, anglers fishing from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Bonneville Dam on the lower Columbia River can still catch a total of six salmon/steelhead a day. The daily limit for adult fish in those waters is two adult sockeye salmon or hatchery adult steelhead, or one of each. Anglers can round out their daily six-fish limit with hatchery jack chinook salmon.

For more information and details on daily limits in each section of the river, see the Fishing Rule Change at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

SPRING CHINOOK FISHERY TO RE-OPEN BOTH ABOVE AND BELOW BONNEVILLE DAM

posted by Mike on 05/23/2018

Spring chinook fishery will reopen
above and below Bonneville Dam

OLYMPIA – Starting Friday (May 25), the popular sport fishery for adult spring chinook salmon will reopen on the Columbia River from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upriver to the Washington/Oregon border near Umatilla.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed to reopen the fishery, based on an updated run forecast projecting that 116,500 upriver origin spring chinook will return to the Columbia River this year.

While that projection is down from the preseason forecast of 166,700 fish, the run is still strong enough to allow for some additional days of fishing, said Ryan Lothrop, a Columbia River fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“We’ve been monitoring fish passage at Bonneville very closely, because we didn’t want to reopen the fishery without a better idea of the actual run size,” Lothrop said. “We now know that run was both late and smaller than expected, but it’s still strong enough to support reopening the fishery.”  

The fishery is set to run through June 6 below Bonneville Dam and through June 15 above the dam, although fishing could close sooner if the catch reaches area harvest quotas before those dates or if the run-size is downgraded again.

Lothrop said more than 2,500 adult spring chinook are currently available for harvest below Bonneville Dam, along with 500 chinook in the area above the dam. Those numbers reflect a reduction in catch quotas consistent with the new run forecast.

As in previous openings, anglers will be allowed to catch one hatchery adult chinook and one hatchery steelhead, or two hatchery steelhead each day. All wild chinook and wild steelhead must be released.

In the lower river, the spring chinook fishery will be open for boat and bank fishing from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line near the mouth of the Columbia, to Beacon Rock. Bank anglers can also fish upstream from Beacon Rock to the deadline below Bonneville.

Above Bonneville Dam, the fishery will be open to boat and bank anglers from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon border near Umatilla. Bank fishing (hand-casted only) is also allowed between the dam and the Tower Island power lines, located about six miles below The Dalles Dam.

For more information, see the Fishing Rule change at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2138.

 

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON SEASONS

posted by Mike on 04/17/2018

Sturgeon fishery set in Columbia River
estuary downstream from Wauna powerlines

Action: Allows a limited recreational retention fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary. White sturgeon from 44-inches minimum to 50-inches maximum fork length may be retained.

Effective Dates: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays: May 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, and June 2, 4, 2018. Sturgeon angling, including catch and release, closes at 2 p.m. on each open day.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations: The Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries.

Reason for action: Increased legal-size population over the past few years has allowed for a conservative retention fishery within the lower Columbia River.

Other information: Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will continue to be allowed on all non-retention days.
Daily white sturgeon limit: One fish.
Annual white sturgeon limit: Two fish.
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

Information Contact: Region 5 office; 360-696-6211

COLUMBIA RIVER REOPENS FOR ONE MORE DAY BELOW BONNEVILLE DAM - MAY 14TH

posted by Mike on 04/12/2018

Chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam
will reopen this Saturday for one day

OLYMPIA – Anglers will have an opportunity to fish for spring chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River this Saturday (April 14) for one day only under an agreement reached Wednesday by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

Fishing regulations will be the same as those in effect before the initial chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam closed April 7 for a fishery assessment.

Under those rules, anglers can retain one adult hatchery chinook salmon as part of a daily limit of two adult fish that can also include hatchery coho salmon and hatchery steelhead. Boat anglers can fish from Buoy 10 up to Beacon Rock, while bank anglers can fish all the way up to Bonneville Dam.

All anglers fishing the Columbia River are required to use barbless hooks, and must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.

Bill Tweit, a fishery manager at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the one-day fishery this Saturday is designed in part as a "make-up day" for the last Saturday of the initial opener, when stormy weather kept many anglers off the water.

Tweit said fishery managers from both states are taking a cautious approach to extending the fishery given the low number of spring chinook observed passing up the fish ladders to date at Bonneville Dam.

"We're taking this a step at a time," Tweit said. "We know more fish are moving into the river, but we need to see signs of higher numbers of fish passing the dam before we consider reopening the fishery again."

According to the preseason forecast, approximately 166,700 upriver spring chinook salmon are expected to return to the Columbia River this year. Based on that forecast, fishery managers set an initial catch guideline of 7,157 upriver chinook for the sport fishery below the dam, but so far anglers have caught only about half that many fish.

"If the run meets or exceeds expectations, we can give anglers more time to fish below the dam," Tweit said. "But right now, we need to make sure we can meet conservation requirements and our obligations to fisheries farther upriver."

Anglers age 15 and older are required to have a valid 2018-19 fishing license to fish in Washington state waters. A Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/crss_endorsement/) is also required to fish for salmon or steelhead on the Columbia River or its tributaries.

SOCKEYE FISHING TO CLOSE ON UPPER COLUMBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 07/07/2017

Sockeye fishing to close on upper Columbia River

Action: Close sockeye salmon fishing

Effective date: 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2017

Areas: 

  • Columbia River from the Washington/Oregon border upstream to Chief Joseph Dam
  • Wenatchee River
  • Similkameen River
  • Okanogan River
  • Chelan River

Reason for action: A revised sockeye salmon forecast of approximately 100,000 for the Columbia River is half of the pre-season forecast of 200,000 fish. After subtracting fish already harvested, those destined for Lake Wenatchee, and pre-spawn mortality, all remaining sockeye must be directed toward escapement and hatchery broodstock. 

Other angler information: Fishing for summer chinook salmon remains open as specified in the 2017-2018 sport fishing rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Chad Jackson, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, Ephrata, (509) 754-4624, Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist, Wenatchee, (509) 665-3337 or Ryan Fortier, District 6 Fish Biologist, Twisp, (509) 997-0316

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change (See: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/)  Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360) 796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

SUMMER CHINOOK FISHERY REOPENS ON LOWER COLUBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 07/06/2017

Summer chinook fishery reopens on the lower Columbia River

OLYMPIA – The fishery for summer chinook salmon is scheduled to reopen tomorrow (July 7) and run through July 31 on the lower Columbia River.

A new, higher projection of this year's summer chinook return allowed fishery managers from Washington and Oregon to reopen the fishery below Bonneville Dam after closing the season early last week.

Based on the latest projection, 74,100 adult summer chinook will return to the Columbia this year – up from 63,100 anticipated at the start of the season. As a result, the catch guideline for the recreational fishery has increased by 1,290 fish, said Ron Roler, a Columbia River fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"The higher run forecast allows us to reopen the fishery through the end of the summer season, when the fall fishing season gets underway," Roler said. "That's been our goal all along, so long as the fishery meets established conservation standards."

The area of the Columbia River affected by the states' action extends from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upriver to Bonneville Dam. As before, anglers can catch up to two adult hatchery chinook, two adult sockeye, or one of each. One hatchery steelhead may also be retained as part of two-fish daily limit.

Barbless hooks are required, and anglers must release any summer chinook with an intact adipose fin.

Washington state fishing rules are posted on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON FISHERY CLOSES

posted by Mike on 06/15/2017

Sturgeon fishing closes in lower Columbia,
opens June 23 for one day in Bonneville Pool

OLYMPIA – The retention fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary closed today at 2 p.m., but anglers will get an additional day to catch and keep sturgeon upriver Friday, June 23 in the Bonneville Pool.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon approved both actions after comparing catch-to-date to the harvest guidelines for sturgeon fisheries in both areas.

As of today, the cumulative catch by anglers fishing from the Wauna power lines downstream to the mouth of the Columbia is expected to reach – or slightly exceed – the 3,000-fish harvest guideline for the lower river.

As a result, both states agreed to cancel a final day of fishing in previously scheduled Saturday, June 17, said Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"The combined catch in the lower river rose somewhat more quickly than expected," Roler said. "We knew this would be a popular fishery, and that's definitely turned out to be the case."

The fishery, open three days a week since June 5, marked the first time in three years that anglers have been allowed to catch and keep white sturgeon below Bonneville Dam. Closed in 2014 to allow stocks to rebuild, the fishery opened on a limited basis this year based on indications that the area's sturgeon population has grown each year since then.

The lower Columbia River remains open to catch-and-release fishing.

Meanwhile, fishery managers agreed to open the Bonneville Pool on Friday, June 23 for one more day of summer retention fishing. The catch assessment shows that 144 sturgeon are still available for harvest under that area's 325-fish harvest guideline.

Anglers are limited to one sturgeon per day, measuring 38 to 54 inches from their snout to the tip of their tail.

WDFW & ODFW APPROVE LIMITED COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON FISHERY

posted by Mike on 06/01/2017

Columbia River sturgeon fisheries approved below and above Bonneville

OLYMPIA – Starting Monday (June 5), anglers can catch and keep white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River for the first time in three years under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

The two states approved the limited retention fishery based on surveys indicating that the number of legal-size sturgeon below Bonneville Dam has grown each year since 2014, when the fishery was closed to allow stocks to rebuild.

The fishery will be open for six days from the mouth of the river to the Wauna power lines (downstream from Longview) on the following schedule:

  • Monday, June 5; Wednesday, June 7; Saturday, June 10
  • Monday, June 12; Wednesday, June 14; Saturday, June 17

Anglers will not be allowed to retain sturgeon after 2 p.m. on any of those days.

Anglers will have a daily limit of one fish measuring 44 to 50 inches from its snout to the fork in its tail. An annual limit of two white sturgeon, regardless of where they are caught, will also be in effect.

In a separate action, both states also approved a one-day sturgeon fishery for Saturday, June 10 in the Bonneville Pool, where 229 fish are available for harvest under current harvest guidelines. The legal size limit for that fishery is 38 to 54 inches.

Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the two states are taking a "cautionary approach" to the fishery below Bonneville Dam.

"We believe the sturgeon population in the lower river has increased to the point where it can support a limited fishery, without impeding future growth," Roler said. "This is a very popular fishery, and we need to take this one step at a time."

Roler said the fishery managers currently estimate there are 165,600 legal-size fish in the Columbia River Bonneville Dam. The harvest guideline for the upcoming fishery is 3,000 sturgeon.

In designing the fishery, the two states adopted several measures specifically aimed at controlling the catch, Roler said. Those measures include:

  • Holding the harvest rate to 3.8 percent, compared to 14.5 percent in the years before the closure.
  • Protecting larger-size fish by reducing the previous maximum size limit of 54 inches to a 50-inch maximum fork length.
  • Reducing the range of legal-sized fish from 38-54 inches to 44-50 inches.

For additional information about both sturgeon openings, see WDFW's Emergency Fishing Rule webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

Roler noted that the fishery will overlap with the arrival and departure of the Rose Festival fleet on June 10 and June 12. Anglers are advised that there is a Homeland Security buffer of 500 yards surrounding all naval vessels and boats are not permitted to approach within 100 yards.

SPRING CHINOOK SEASON EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 10 ON COLUMBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 03/30/2017

Today the States of Washington and Oregon DFW staff held a Joint State hearing to consider an extension of the spring chinook fishery in the lower Columbia River which was scheduled to close on April 6.  They extended the fishery through April 10, giving early notice and time for friends and families time to plan a few extra days of fishing.  Enjoy!
 
According to the staff report, the estimated Chinook catch through Sunday March 26 is 53 kept adult fish and 6 released (~25 upriver mortalities) from 8,305 angler trips compared to an expectation of 1,575 kept (1,150 upriver mortalities) from 33,900 angler trips based on preseason modeling.  The extreme high water conditions, combined with turbidity and lower than normal river temperatures are expected to continue into next week and potentially beyond.   
 
In addition to extending the fishery, both agencies committed to using real time data and nimble reaction times to provide further reopeners.  Tucker Jones noted that fisheries in April can be very dynamic and further openings were likely to be in "chunks". (which is a very technical term for days/week).  They hope to open fisheries, review catch rates and run updates to determine opportunities for further fisheries. 
 

COWLITZ RIVER SMELT FISHERY A BUST

posted by Mike on 02/27/2017

We'll just have to wait and see if there will be an additional day of smelt dipping allowed on the Cowlitz considering that there was no impact upon the population as virtually no smelt were caught. I hope that at least the WDFW actually does some test fishing prior to the opening as not to waste folks time and effort to go down for nothing. I am sure there are more than just a few ticked off fishermen.

COLUMBIA RIVER REFORMS THROWN UNDER THE BUS BY ODFW COMMISSION

posted by Mike on 01/23/2017

Late tonight, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-3 on an Enhanced Commercial Rebalance of the Columbia River reforms.  This decision violated a reasonable compromise the State of Washington passed last week, ignored recommendations from ODFW staff and broke a promise to over 400,000 anglers across Oregon and Washington.  These actions were taken despite authors of the plan presenting evidence of its success and legislators, both Republican and Democrat, strongly encouraging commissioners to stay the course. 
 
The Commissioners, lead by Governor Kate Brown’s appointees, voted to permanently leave gillnets in the mainstem and renege on the sportfishing priority.  They allocated more fish to the gillnetters in the fall, which will pound on weaker stocks of steelhead and sturgeon and further cut into already short seasons for our industry.  A panel of conservation groups (Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Trout Unlimited, Wild Salmon Center) all strenuously encouraged the Commission to stick to the conservation goals of the plan, but this fell on deaf ears. 
 
Governor Brown’s Commission has thrown the river into chaos, put the ODFW agency budget at risk, showed a disregard for our relationship with the state of Washington Commission, and insulted anglers who have sacrificed both financially and with less opportunity.   Their complete focus on a select few gill-netters, despite statutory language that includes the enhanced economics of the sports fleet, is beyond comprehension and explanation. Frankly, their actions suggest they care nothing for the average angler, but for a select group of gill-net fisherman and it's less than 200 licensees. 
 
For the first time in over 100 years the two states will have non concurrent rules.  ODFW staff expressed disbelief and concern about what to do. At one point ODFW asked how Oregon State Police would enforce a divide in the river and OSP had no comment. Are Oregon anglers required to purchase both Oregon and Washington licenses to fish the entire river?  Or, more likely, will each side be forced to buy a license from their state and be required to only fish their side of the river. This has the potential to cost millions of dollars and jobs for the hard working men and women who make up the sport fishing industry.  Not including the months of potential litigation between the two states. 
 
 Governor Brown promised and committed twice to CCA Oregon, NSIA, Steelheaders NW and NW Guides and Anglers that she was committed to making the Columbia River reforms a reality. Unfortunately, her appointees and Commission must not have gotten the message.  Much more to follow
 
Highlights of the policy adopted today include:
  • Spring and summer Chinook Endangered Species Act (ESA) impacts will be allocated 80 percent for recreational fisheries; 20 percent for commercial fisheries. Commercial fishing with tangle nets allowed on the mainstem river in the spring and largemesh gillnets in the summer.
  • Fall Chinook ESA impacts will be allocated 66 percent for recreational fisheries and 34 percent for commercial fisheries. Gillnets will be allowed in Zones 4 and 5 and coho tangle nets will be allowed in Zones 1 through 3.
  • Continuation of the Youngs Bay “control zone” fishery closure.
  • Removal of the barbless hook requirement for lower Willamette River and Oregon off-channel recreational fisheries.
  • Continued enhancement in off-channel areas for commercial harvest.
  • Additional spring Chinook production to Oregon Select Area Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) areas.
 
 
Liz Hamilton, Executive Director
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association
PO Box 4, Oregon City, OR 97045
503.631.8859  503.704.1772m
www.nsiafishing.org
 
 
 

LAST DAY TO FISH COLUMBIA FROM MOUTH TO PASCO FOR SALMON & STEELHEAD

posted by Mike on 10/20/2016

Fishing for salmon, steelhead to close from mouth of Columbia River to Pasco

Action:  Fishing for salmon and steelhead will close Oct. 22 on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the river upstream to the Hwy 395 Bridge near Pasco, Washington.    

Species affected: Salmon and steelhead.

Effective dates: Oct. 22 through Dec. 31, 2016.  

Location:  Mainstem Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge.

Reason for action: Based on the most recent in-season run forecast, the non-treaty allocation of Upriver Bright (URB) fall chinook has been reached. The URB component of the run includes Snake River fall chinook, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Additional information: Allowable impact rates on listed chinook salmon stocks are based on a percentage of the total chinook run. The preseason forecast for the 2016 fall chinook run to the Columbia River was 960,200 fish, including an estimated 579,600 URB chinook. Based on actual returns, those projections have been reduced several times during the course of the season by the multi-jurisdictional Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). On Oct. 17, the TAC reduced its official forecast of the URB chinook run to 412,700, leaving no additional impacts available for the non-treaty fishery.

Information contact:  (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

COLUMBIA RIVER CHINOOK FISHERY TO REMAIN OPEN THROUGH SEPTEMBER 22

posted by Mike on 09/14/2016

Columbia River sport fishery remains open for fall chinook

Action:  Allows retention of hatchery chinook on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Warrior Rock. 

Species affected:  Hatchery chinook, defined as having a clipped adipose fin or a clipped left ventral fin.

Effective dates:  Thursday, Sept.15 through Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.

Daily limit:

  • Buoy 10:  Chinook minimum size 24-inches.  Coho minimum size 16-inches.  Daily limit is two fish of which only one may be a chinook.  Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. Release all salmon other than hatchery (adipose or left-ventral fin clipped) chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho.
  • Tongue Point/Rocky Point to Warrior Rock: Minimum size is 12-inches.  Daily limit is six fish, but only two may be adults, of which only one may be a hatchery chinook.  Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.  Release all salmon other than hatchery (adipose or left-ventral fin clipped) chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho.

Reason for action: Harvestable numbers of hatchery salmon remain available based on current chinook forecasts and harvest estimates to date.

All other permanent rules apply.

Columbia River sport fishery remains open for fall chinook

Action:  Allows retention of hatchery chinook on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Warrior Rock. 

Species affected:  Hatchery chinook, defined as having a clipped adipose fin or a clipped left ventral fin.

Effective dates:  Thursday, Sept.15 through Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.

Daily limit:

  • Buoy 10:  Chinook minimum size 24-inches.  Coho minimum size 16-inches.  Daily limit is two fish of which only one may be a chinook.  Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. Release all salmon other than hatchery (adipose or left-ventral fin clipped) chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho.
  • Tongue Point/Rocky Point to Warrior Rock: Minimum size is 12-inches.  Daily limit is six fish, but only two may be adults, of which only one may be a hatchery chinook.  Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.  Release all salmon other than hatchery (adipose or left-ventral fin clipped) chinook and adipose fin-clipped coho.

Reason for action: Harvestable numbers of hatchery salmon remain available based on current chinook forecasts and harvest estimates to date.

All other permanent rules apply.

COLUMBIA RIVER BUOY 10 REPORTS

posted by Mike on 08/12/2016

For those of you partaking of the lower Columbia Buoy 10 fishery, the reports that we have received the past couple of days have been far better than we saw at the start. I have spoke with a couple of customers this morning that are fishing the area at the present time. One,who fished yesterday managed to limit out his boat with six nice kings. All were caught just upstream of the bridge on the Oregon side. Just got off the phone with a friend of mine that had two nice upriver fish in his boat, both in the 25 pound range. The second one he managed to win a tug of war with Mr. Sealion. The fish was not too bad off with just a puncture just above the tail.

 

We have a nice batch of Puget Sound Vac Pack Green Herring that just came in yesterday for those of you that have been looking or bait. It has been going fast!

HANFORD REACH OPENS FOR SOCKEYE

posted by Mike on 06/28/2016

Hanford Reach to open for sockeye fishing

Actions: Opens sockeye salmon to retention

Effective date:June 28 through Aug. 15, 2016

Species affected: Sockeye salmon.

Area 1: Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point (CRC 534).

Daily Limit: Daily limit of three (3) salmon, of which one (1) may be an adult hatchery chinook and two (2) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Area 2: Columbia River from the Interstate 182 Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam (CRC 535, 536)

Daily Limit: Daily limit of six (6) salmon, of which two (2) may be adult hatchery chinook and three (3) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon and must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Anglers with the Two-Pole Endorsement may fish with two poles, except for sturgeon.

Reason for action: The sockeye run has exceeded the pre-season forecast of 102,000 fish returning to the river mouth. Approximately 240,000 sockeye passed Bonneville Dam through June 26, with the total return now projected to reach 400,000. Barring extreme high water temperatures like those that caused unprecedented pre-spawning mortality in 2015, the spawning needs in the both the Wenatchee and Okanogan rivers should be realized. More than 110,000 sockeye have crossed McNary Dam, allowing a fishery upstream of the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam.

After the loss of nearly all spawning sockeye in the Okanogan River in 2015, fishery managers are proceeding conservatively until spawning escapements into the Wenatchee and Okanogan Rivers are assured. Provided that water temperatures remain below lethal levels, sockeye seasons above Priest Rapids Dam are likely as the run progresses upriver. Anglers should watch WDFW's for further actions.

Information contacts:John Easterbrooks, Region 3 Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima) or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624 (Ephrata)

Coastal Salmon Seasons & Columbia River For 2016

posted by Mike on 04/16/2016

  
Washington's ocean waters: The Pacific Fisheries Management Council approved a recreational chinook catch quota of 35,000 fish, which is 29,000 fish decline from 2015's quota of 64,000 chinook. The PFMC, which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast, also adopted a quota of 18,900 coho for this year's recreational ocean fishery – about 131,900 fish fewer than last year's quota (150,800 coho).  
 
Recreational ocean salmon fisheries for chinook will be open daily beginning July 1 in all four marine areas. Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will close Aug. 31 while the other three marine areas will close Aug. 21. The areas could close earlier if the catch quota is met.  
 
Anglers will be required to release coho salmon in marine areas 2-4 but can retain hatchery coho in Marine Area 1. Anglers will have a daily limit of one salmon in Marine Area 2. In Marine Area 1 anglers can retain two salmon, only one of which can be chinook. Areas 3 and 4 have a two-salmon daily limit.  
 
 
Columbia River: The popular Buoy 10 fishery near the mouth of the Columbia River will be announced early next week. Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are still working out the details of the fishery, which is expected to benefit from a large run of chinook salmon to the river this year.
 
For the third-straight year, during fall fisheries, anglers fishing from the same boat may continue fishing for salmon until all anglers have reached their daily limits in the following areas:
•    The mainstem Columbia River from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to Lewis River will be open for hatchery coho from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31. Anglers will be allowed to retain one adult chinook as part of their two-adult daily limit from Aug. 1 through Sep. 14. During Sep. 8 through Sep. 14, adult chinook retention is restricted to hatchery chinook only. From Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, anglers can retain two adult chinook daily.  
•    The Lewis River upstream to Steamboat Landing Park dock/Marker #50, near Washougal, will be open Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 for chinook and hatchery coho, with a daily limit of two adult salmon.  
•    Columbia River anglers are reminded that retention of sockeye and chum salmon is prohibited during the fall season.
The summer season on the mainstem Columbia River from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam will be open from June 16 through July 31 for hatchery summer chinook and sockeye. The daily limit will be two adult salmonids (chinook and steelhead must be adipose fin-clipped). All sockeye are considered adults in the daily limit.
 
The summer season from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge will be open from June 16 through July 31 for hatchery summer chinook and sockeye. The daily limit will be two adult salmonids (chinook and steelhead must be adipose finclipped). All sockeye are considered adults in the daily limit.   
 
 


   

Steelhead Fishing To Close On Parts Of Upper Columbia River, Okanogan and Similkameen Rivers

posted by Mike on 03/09/2016

Steelhead fishing to close on a section of the Upper Columbia River and two tributaries

 

ACTION: Closure of steelhead fishing on the upper Columbia River, including the Okanogan and Similkameen Rivers.

SPECIES AFFECTED: Steelhead.

EFFECTIVE DATES: One hour after official sunset on March 9, 2016, until further notice.

LOCATIONS CLOSED:

1.) Mainstem Columbia River: From the Hwy. 173 bridge at Brewster upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

2.) Okanogan River: From the mouth to the Hwy. 97 Bridge in Oroville.

3.) Similkameen River: From the mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam.

REASON FOR ACTION: The season is closed to minimize impacts to spawning steelhead.

Areas that will continue to be open for steelhead angling until further notice include:

1) Columbia River: From Rock Island Dam to the powerlines crossing the Columbia River at Daroga State Park.

2) Wenatchee River: From the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam. Fishing within 400 feet downstream of Dryden Dam is prohibited.

3) Icicle River: From the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

4) Entiat River: From the mouth to approximately 1/2 mile upstream to a point perpendicular with the intersection of the Entiat River Road and Hedding Street.

General rules for all locations open to steelhead fishing:

1) Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead, as identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

2) Daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead; 20 inch minimum size.

3) Daily limit of five (5) hatchery rainbow trout of less than 20 inches in total length, as identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

4) Anglers must stop fishing when a daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead are obtained, regardless of the number of hatchery rainbow trout obtained.

5) Selective gear rules and night closure are in effect for all steelhead fishery areas, except the use of bait is allowed on the mainstem Columbia River.

6) Steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

7) Release all steelhead with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round � inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.

8) Motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers (Chelan County ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions).

Other information: Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead. Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish.

All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Information contacts: Travis Maitland, Wenatchee District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337; Ryan Fortier, Methow-Okanogan District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 997-0316; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624.

 

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