Imnaha Closing For Spring Chinook, But Wallowa Opening

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT FISH AND WILDLIFE

Imnaha River Chinook season closes July 3

June 27, 2016

ENTERPRISE, Ore. – The Chinook salmon season on the Imnaha River will close July 3.

According to Jeff Yanke, fish biologist in Enterprise, the fishery will close because the annual harvest limit will be reached on the closure date.

“Based on catch rates observed last week in the fishery, we expect to reach our harvest limit by Sunday”, he explained.

With a relatively modest return of Chinook salmon to the Imnaha, Yanke expected a shorter duration fishery in 2016. “We did not see a very large run this year, but there was some good fishing opportunities provided”, he said.

Chinook fisheries in the Imnaha are managed on limits of hatchery adults that can be harvested or wild adults that can be released. Fishery managers consistently monitor angler effort and catch rates in the fishery to estimate harvest and catch, which is weighed against annual limits. When harvest approaches the prescribed limits, managers close the fishery.

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Spring Chinook fishing opens July 2 on Wallowa River

June 27, 2016

ENTERPRISE, Ore. – A significant upturn in the forecasted run to the Lostine River prompted ODFW to open the Wallowa River on July 2 for hatchery spring Chinook fishing. Anglers will be able to fish salmon from the deadline at the lower end of Minam State Park upstream to the mouth of the Lostine River.

Anglers can keep two hatchery spring Chinook adults and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two daily jack limits in possession. Single point hooks larger than 1 inch gap and multiple point hooks larger than 9/16 inch gap are prohibited. Chinook jacks are salmon between 15 and 24 inches in length.

Anglers do not need to record jack catch on their combined angling tags, but it is illegal to continue fishing for jack Chinook once the adult bag limit is met. Wild fish must be released immediately and unharmed. A valid Columbia Basin Endorsement is required for this fishery.

The Wallowa River fishery, which targets salmon bound for the Lostine River, was unexpected even for local fishery managers.

“Based on previous run estimates, we were not planning on getting enough salmon back to have a fishery this year”, said Jeff Yanke ODFW district fish biologist in Enterprise. “However, our recent observations of tagged salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers suggest many more than expected will make it back this year”.

A closure date for the fishery has not been set; ODFW will conduct regular fishery monitoring to determine how catch and harvest compares to annual sport fishery quotas.

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