Category Archives: Headlines

Head’s Up, Luremen, Luhr’s Launch Closing Aug. 4-8 For Repairs

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

(Editor’s note: Nearby ramps include Steilacoom and Zittle’s.)

The Luhr’s Landing water-access site near Olympia will be closed Aug. 4-8 while a crew from Thurston County Public Works replaces a failed culvert at the intersection near the entrance to the boat launch.

The launch site, owned and operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), is located just west of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on Puget Sound.

Brian Mitchell, WDFW natural resource operations supervisor, said access to the launch could also be restricted during the week of Aug.11 while work continues to install the new culvert. The work zone is at the intersection of D’Milluhr Drive and Scenic Drive at the entrance to the water-access area.

“We’re sorry about the inconvenience to boaters, but we’re pleased to see this work get done,” Mitchell said. “By improving drainage, the project should help to reduce maintenance of the road and parking lot at the access site.”

Luhr’s Landing is one of more than 700 water-access sites owned and operated by WDFW.

IDFG Drops Prices Of Unsold Nonresident Deer, Elk Tags

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission reduced the price of unsold nonresident deer and elk tags to be sold as second tags.

The following discounts will be available to resident and non-resident hunters purchasing second tags in 2014.

·         Second elk tags will be discounted from $415 to $299

·         Second deer tags will be discounted from $300 to $199

The price does not include the $1.75 vendor fees.

Since 2000, the Commission has offered any unsold tags remaining to resident and nonresident hunters as a second tag at the full nonresident price. In 2013, the release date for second tags was moved forward one month from September 1 to August 1. The commission feels discounting those tags will give hunters additional field opportunity by making a second tag more affordable.

Fish and Game Wildlife Chief Jeff Gould reminds hunters that second tags have been factored into big game season settings since these tags became available for purchase as a second tag 15 years ago.

“We restrict the number of tags available in elk zones that are performing below desired population levels,” Gould said. “Hunting opportunity is based on biological as well as social considerations. The decision to discount the second tag price is biologically sustainable and will make it more affordable for hunters to increase their hunting options this fall.”

Second tags will mainly be used in general hunts where there are currently no restrictions on the number of deer or elk tags sold to Idaho residents in any given year. Second tags cannot be used in areas where deer or elk harvest is managed with controlled hunts and the use of second tags must fall under currently established nonresident elk zone tag limits.

For 30 years, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission has maintained a statewide annual quota of 12,815 nonresident elk tags and 15,500 nonresident deer tags.  Idaho hunters purchase about 143,000 deer and 86,000 elk tags annually. Hunters purchased 964 second deer tags and 430 second elk tags in 2013. That left 5,773 deer and 4,960 nonresident elk tags unsold at the end of the year.

The discounted second tags will be available to resident and nonresident hunters August 1. The actual number of second tags available won’t be known until August 1, when unclaimed and returned nonresident tags are added to the second tag pool.  Second tags will be sold on a first come first served basis at all Fish and Game license vendors.

The Commission stresses this will be a trial program, and will closely analyze the 2014 season to determine how hunters respond to the discounts before deciding whether to apply discounts in future seasons.

For more information on the second tag discounts, including a list of frequently asked questions, go to: https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/tagdiscount

THE NUSHAGAK RIVER AND OTHER BRISTOL BAY TRIBUTARIES ARE HOME TO SOMETHING LIKE HALF THE WORLD'S SOCKEYE SALMON, AND COULD BE AFFECTED BY DISASTER OR POOR PLANNING AT THE PROPOSED PEBBLE MINE. (TERRY WIEST, SALMONUNIVERSITY.COM)

EPA Releases Proposal To Protect Bristol Bay Salmon From Pebble Mining Risks

INFORMATION FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

EPA Region 10 has released a proposal to protect one of the world’s most valuable salmon fisheries, in Bristol Bay, Alaska, from the risks posed by a mine at the Pebble deposit. Development of this mine would result in one of the largest open pit copper mines in the world and would threaten one of the world’s most productive salmon fisheries.

This proposal, formally called a “Proposed Determination,” outlines protections for the waters that support salmon in and near the Pebble deposit area. The geographic restrictions of this proposal cover only the mining claims surrounding the Pebble deposits. No other lands or developments are subject to these restrictions.

THE NUSHAGAK RIVER AND OTHER BRISTOL BAY TRIBUTARIES ARE HOME TO SOMETHING LIKE HALF THE WORLD'S SOCKEYE SALMON, AND COULD BE AFFECTED BY DISASTER OR POOR PLANNING AT THE PROPOSED PEBBLE MINE. (TERRY WIEST, SALMONUNIVERSITY.COM)

THE NUSHAGAK RIVER AND OTHER BRISTOL BAY TRIBUTARIES ARE HOME TO SOMETHING LIKE HALF THE WORLD’S SOCKEYE SALMON, AND COULD BE AFFECTED BY DISASTER OR POOR PLANNING AT THE PROPOSED PEBBLE MINE. (TERRY WIEST, SALMONUNIVERSITY.COM)

Please visit www2.epa.gov/bristolbay to read the Proposed Determination, Executive Summary, Fact Sheet and information on the Clean Water Act Section 404(c) review process.

EPA would like to hear your comments on this important topic. Detailed instructions on how to submit comments or attend a public hearing are available at www2.epa.gov/bristolbay. The public comment period will be open from Monday, July 21 until Friday, September 19, 2014.

You can send questions to the project team at: R10BristolBay@epa.gov.

A MAP POSTED TO THE INCIWEB SITE SHOWS THE BREADTH OF THE CHIWAUKUM

Roads May Be Closed To Lake Wenatchee For Sockeye Opener

UPDATE 9:17 A.M. JULY 18, 2014: WSDOT and Washington State Parks currently report that access to Lake Wenatchee is open again, at least from Western Washington via Highway 2 to Coles Corner and Highway 207 to the lake. BUT situation very dynamic with red flag fire warnings up today for most of Eastern Washington.

If that towering pile of smoke on the horizon the last two evenings hasn’t been warning enough, WDFW is putting out word that access to Lake Wenatchee for this Saturday’s sockeye opener is in serious jeopardy.

The Chiwaukum Fire near Winton has led to closures of Highway 2 between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth, and the Chumstick Highway between Leavenworth and Plain, the primary ways to get to the Chelan County lake.

The main boat ramp is at Lake Wenatchee State Park, but while its web landing page says the park is open and fire danger is extreme, it also says “Access to the park is not possible, due to closure of HWY2 and Chumstick HWY. Updates will occur each morning on access. Camper reservations are being fully refunded for incoming reservations on the 7/17 and 7/18.”

A MAP POSTED TO THE INCIWEB SITE SHOWS THE BREADTH OF THE CHIWAUKUM

A MAP POSTED TO THE INCIWEB SITE SHOWS THE BREADTH OF THE CHIWAUKUM FIRE BETWEEN STEVENS PASS AND LEAVENWORTH. (INCIWEB)

WDFW announced this week that with 65,000 sockeye inbound, and 42,000 available for harvest, Lake Wenatchee would open July 19th for six-fish limits.

That’s an earlier opener than past years and is pretty exciting for local anglers, but Tuesday saw the Chiwaukum Fire blow up, and it’s now listed as 6,630 acres as of this afternoon. Almost all of Eastern Washington is under a red flag fire warning.

“The sockeye fishery will open as scheduled, but anglers may have to wait for a few days to get to it,” said Jeff Korth, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We strongly advise they check reports on fire and road conditions before they head out.”

It’ll be much safer to get your sockeye jones filled on the Columbia from the Brewster Pool Wenatchee down to Tri-Cities.

The hashtag to follow is #MillsCanyonComplex, and websites to watch include:

Fire Status: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3937/

Road Closures: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx

Lake Wenatchee State Park: www.parks.wa.gov/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=167

 

With 65,000 Sockeye On The Way, L. Wenatchee Opens For 6 Reds A Day

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE

Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery opens

Action:   Lake Wenatchee opens for sockeye salmon fishing

Effective date: July 19, 2014 (one hour before official sunrise).

Species affected:   Sockeye salmon

JIM CUMMINGS OF COULEE CITY, STAN AND GLORIA ARBOGAST OF CASHMERE DISPLAY SOME OF THEIR LIMITS AFTER A DAY OF FISHING ON LAKE WENATCHEE IN SUMMER 2012. (JIM CUMMINGS)

JIM CUMMINGS OF COULEE CITY AND STAN AND GLORIA ARBOGAST OF CASHMERE DISPLAY SOME OF THEIR LIMITS AFTER A DAY OF FISHING ON LAKE WENATCHEE IN SUMMER 2012. (JIM CUMMINGS)

Daily limit: The daily limit per angler is 6 sockeye, 12 inches in length or greater.

Location:   Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.)

Reason for action:   Based on current sockeye passage at both Tumwater Dam and mainstem Columbia River Dams, at least 65,000 total sockeye are projected to be destined for Lake Wenatchee. This provides an estimated 42,000 sockeye to be available for harvest above the natural spawning escapement goal of 23,000 fish.

Other information: Selective gear rules (up to three single barbless hooks per line, no bait or scent allowed, knotless nets required) in effect. Anglers may fish with 2 poles as long as they possess a valid two-pole endorsement.  A night closure will be in effect.  Legal angling hours are one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.  Bull trout, steelhead, and chinook salmon must be released unharmed without removing the fish from the water.

ANGLERS WORK THE RIGGERS AND RODS AT LAKE WENATCHEE IN HOPES OF LANDING SOCKEYE DURING THE 2012 SEASON. (JIM CUMMINGS)

ANGLERS WORK THE RIGGERS AND RODS AT LAKE WENATCHEE IN HOPES OF LANDING SOCKEYE DURING THE 2012 SEASON. (JIM CUMMINGS)

NOTE:   The Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery may be closed on short notice depending on participation and catch rates.  Anglers are advised to check daily the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500 or WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_freshwater.j

Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license.  Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the Columbia River fisheries.  The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River basin.

Public Comment Sought On Rotenoning 11 Stevens, Grant Co Lakes

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

State fishery managers will host three public meetings in late July to discuss proposals to treat three lake systems in eastern Washington with rotenone, a naturally occurring pesticide commonly used to remove undesirable fish species from lakes and streams.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is proposing to treat McDowell Lake in Stevens County, the Hampton Lake chain and Sago, Hourglass, and Widgeon Lakes in Grant County this fall to remove species including bass, bullhead, stunted panfish and tench.

The Hampton Chain is made up of Upper and Lower Hampton Lake, Hampton Slough, Hen Lake, Dabbler Lake, Marie Lake and Juvenile Lake.

“The goal is to restore trout populations by removing competing species that have essentially taken over the lake’s resources,” said Bruce Bolding, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. “Illegally stocked fish compete with trout fry for food and prey, rendering efforts to stock trout fry ineffective.”

Public meetings to discuss the lake treatments proposed by WDFW are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following dates at the following locations:

July 23 – Ephrata, at the WDFW Region 2 Office, 1550 Alder St. N.W.
July 23 – Colville, at the WDFW District 1 Office, 755 S. Main St.
July 24 – Olympia, at the Natural Resource Building, 1111 Washington St., Room 175.

In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will consider written comments received through Aug. 22. Comments should be addressed to Bruce Bolding, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

Final consideration of the proposals will be made by the WDFW director in early September.

Rotenone is an organic substance derived from the roots of tropical plants, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved for use as a fish pesticide. It has been used by WDFW in lake and stream rehabilitations for more than 70 years, and is commonly used by other fish and wildlife management agencies nationwide.

SPENCER RHODES REPORTS GOOD FISHING FOR SUMMER KINGS LAST WEEKEND WHILE OUT WITH GUIDE KEVIN DUNCAN AND FRIEND RON SCRIBNER. SITTING ON ANCHOR AND PLUNKING WRAPPED K-15S IN DOUBLE TROUBLE. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (7-15-14)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS ARE FROM JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND TANNA TAKATA, ODFW

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – 78 boat anglers with 53 summer run steelhead kept and 1 released.  35 bank anglers with 12 adult spring Chinook and 1 summer run steelhead kept and 1 adult spring Chinook released.  All the salmon were sampled at the barrier dam; most of the steelhead at the trout hatchery.

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 906 spring Chinook adults, 108 jacks, 186 mini-jacks, 858 summer-run steelhead and two sockeye salmon adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 383 spring Chinook adults and 64 jacks into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, 434 spring Chinook adults and 24 jacks into Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam, and 180 spring Chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park. Also, 201 summer-run steelhead and the two sockeye salmon were recycled downstream to the Interstate-5 boat launch.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,280 cubic feet per second on Monday, July 14. Water visibility is twelve feet.

Drano Lake – 4 boat anglers kept 5 summer run steelhead and released 4 wild fish.  Light effort during the weekdays; <10 boats reported last Saturday.

Lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam – Last week we sampled 1,542 salmonid anglers (including 226 boats) with 36 adult and 9 jack summer Chinook, 20 sockeye, and 421 steelhead.

13 (36%) of the adult Chinook,  19 (95%) of the sockeye, and 183 (43%) of the steelhead were kept.

SPENCER RHODES REPORTS GOOD FISHING FOR SUMMER KINGS LAST WEEKEND WHILE OUT WITH GUIDE KEVIN DUNCAN AND FRIEND RON SCRIBNER. SITTING ON ANCHOR AND PLUNKING WRAPPED K-15S IN DOUBLE TROUBLE. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

SPENCER RHODES REPORTS GOOD FISHING FOR LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER SUMMER KINGS LAST WEEKEND WHILE OUT WITH GUIDE KEVIN DUNCAN AND FRIEND RON SCRIBNER. THEY WERE SITTING ON ANCHOR AND PLUNKING WRAPPED K-15S IN DOUBLE TROUBLE, AND HOOKED NUMEROUS CHINOOK FROM 4-POUND JACKS TO ESTIMATED 30-PLUS-POUND WILD KINGS. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers are catching some steelhead at the mouth of the tributaries.  5 boat anglers kept 1 steelhead and released 8 wild fish.  There were 3 boats off the White Salmon and Klickitat rivers and 4 off Drano Lake last Sunday morning.

The Dalles Pool – Light effort and catch.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from Marker 82 line downstream – Anglers are catch and releasing some legals in the Kalama area.

Bonneville Pool – Including fish released, boat anglers averaged a legal per every 4.2 rods while bank anglers averaged one per every 7 rods.

An estimated 197 legals were caught during July 11-12.  Through July 12, an estimated 829 (75.4%) of the 1,100 fish guideline had been taken.

Retention will be allowed again July 18-19.  White sturgeon between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length may be retained.  Daily limit 1 fish.  Catch-and-release fishing allowed on non-retention days.

Angling for sturgeon is prohibited through July 31 between The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

The Dalles Dam to John Day Dam including adjoining tributaries – Through July 31, the daily limit is 1 fish, min. size 43″ fork length and max. 54″ fork length.  Existing sturgeon spawning sanctuary below John Day Dam is in effect through July.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville Pool – Boat anglers averaged 1.5 bass kept per rod.  No effort was observed for walleye.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged 2.5 bass per rod when including fish released.  Effort and catch for walleye were light.

XXXXXXXXXX

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Angling for summer Chinook is slow on the lower Columbia, but angling for summer steelhead is good.  Salmonid anglers in the gorge averaged 0.95 summer steelhead and 0.41 summer Chinook per boat; and bank anglers averaged 0.21 summer steelhead and 0.08 summer Chinook caught per angler. In the estuary, boat anglers averaged 2.6 summer steelhead and 0.18 summer Chinook per boat, and bank anglers averaged 0.30 summer steelhead per angler.  Anglers fishing in Troutdale averaged 0.13 summer steelhead and 0.04 summer Chinook caught per boat. In the Portland to Westport area, boat anglers averaged 0.32 summer steehead and 0.03 summer Chinook per boat, and bank anglers averaged 0.11 summer steelhead and 0.04 summer Chinook per angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook, one sockeye and two adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead kept, plus two unclipped adult Chinook and six unclipped summer steelhead released for 24 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed five adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead and two sockeye kept, plus nine unclipped adult Chinook, two sockeye and 16 unclipped steelhead released for 22 boats (62 anglers).

Troutdale Bank: Weekend checking showed no catch for two bank anglers.

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus three unclipped steelhead released for 23 boats (46 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook and one adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead kept, plus two unclipped steelhead released for 28 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed five adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead kept, plus one unclipped adult Chinook and five unclipped steelhead released for 31 boats (61 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Clatsop Spit to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed one adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead kept and two unclipped summer steelhead released for 10 bank anglers.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Wauna Powerlines): Weekend checking showed 16 adipose fin-clipped summer steelhead and one adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept, plus one unclipped adult Chinook and 13 unclipped steelhead released for 11 boats (23 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed one adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook kept for nine bank anglers and no catch for five boats (16 anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one bank angler.

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm): No report.

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River: Catch and release only; no report.

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus one oversize and 49 sublegal sturgeon released for 22 bank anglers; and 33 legal white sturgeon kept, plus two legal, 13 oversize and 618 sublegal sturgeon released for 27 boats (148 anglers).

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed three legal white sturgeon kept, plus one legal and 34 sublegal sturgeon released for three boats (six anglers).

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools: WDFW Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/region5/>

WALLEYE

Troutdale: No report

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed one walleye released for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool: No report.

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

27-pdr. In Lead For $1,000 In Westport King Derby

It’s not quite the biggest Chinook of the year landed by a Westport charterboat angler, but so what?

James Denton’s 27-pound, 10-ounce salmon still leads for July, and if it holds on through the month, it could score the Edgewood angler $1,000.

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

He caught it this past Friday aboard the Sea Angel, skippered by Capt. Brian Mirante.

Denton also won $500 as the Westport Charterboat Association’s daily Chinook winner.

Big king of the year will score some lucky angler $2,500. A 29-pound, 3-ouncer caught by Jennifer Reuter of Tumwater is the largest of the year so far for the charter fleet.

In the lingcod derby, a nearly 36-pounder is the latest weekly winner.

Ron Deatherger headed back to Kent $500 richer, thanks to the 35-pound, 15 ouncer he caught while fishing aboard the Slammer with Capt. Rhett Weber last week.

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

(WESTPORT CHARTERBOAT ASSOCIATION)

Heck With The Limits At Holbrook!

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers have lifted all bag limits and size requirements on Holbrook Reservoir near Lakeview beginning Friday, July 11.

Under temporary rules announced today the lake is open to fishing for all game fish species from July 11 through December 31, 2014 with the following restrictions:

  • Allowed harvest methods are by hand, dip net, or angling;
  • There are no daily catch and possession limits; and
  • There are no minimum length requirements.

According to Dave Banks, ODFW fish biologist in Lakeview, the area has received only 30 percent of average precipitation this year. As a result, the reservoir is likely to be completely drained to meet irrigation demand.

This fishery at Holbrook Reservoir was created through a memorandum of understanding between ODFW and a private landowner. This is only the third time in the 33-year history of the agreement that the landowner will be unable to maintain minimum water levels to support fish.

Anglers are encouraged to harvest as many fish as they would like before the reservoir is expected to go dry in later this summer.

YER GONNA NEED MORE FINGERS, SCOTT -- WDFW EXPANDED THE DAILY SOCKEYE LIMIT FOR BREWSTER POOL ANGLERS TO SIX. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

Upper Columbia Sockeye Limit Boosted To Six A Day

With waaaaaay more sockeye than expected on the way, and more than needed on the gravel, Washington fishery managers have raised the daily limit to six on parts of the Upper Columbia.

The change means that anglers will be able to keep as many as eight salmon a day at Brewster and Wenatchee, though only two can be adult hatchery Chinook.

YER GONNA NEED MORE FINGERS, SCOTT -- WDFW EXPANDED THE DAILY SOCKEYE LIMIT FOR BREWSTER POOL ANGLERS TO SIX. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

YER GONNA NEED MORE FINGERS THERE, SCOTT — WDFW EXPANDED THE DAILY SOCKEYE LIMIT FOR BREWSTER POOL ANGLERS TO SIX. (WRIGHT & McGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

The emergency rule change from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife affects four sections of the big river.

From Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam: July 11-Aug. 31, 2014
From Wanapum Dam to Wells Dam: July 11-Oct. 15, 2014
From Wells Dam to Hwy 173 Bridge in Brewster: July 16-Aug. 31, 2014
From Hwy 173 Bridge in Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam: July 11-Oct 15, 2014

WDFW explains that sockeye returns above Priest Rapids are now forecast to be “far in excess of needs for wild fish escapement to the spawning grounds.”

Through yesterday, a record 539,225 have been counted at Bonneville, and even though the run is beginning to tail out, it likely will get into the 600,000s at this pace.

Most of those are headed to British Columbia’s Okanagan River, where supplementation and habitat work have led to big returns in recent years.

There are, of course, some rules to bone up on before you head for the Upper Columbia. WDFW notes:

Other rules: Minimum size 12 inches. Daily limit eight salmon, up to two may be adult hatchery chinook and up to six may be sockeye. Release coho and wild adult chinook. Release all sockeye with colored anchor (floy) tag attached.

Other information: All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in this fishery. 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.