THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced the opening of three spring Chinook fisheries in Northeast Oregon.
The Imnaha and Wallowa Rivers will open to hatchery spring Chinook fishing on Saturday, June 6. The Imnaha River will be open from the mouth upstream 45 miles to Summit Creek Bridge. The Wallowa River will be open from the deadline at the lower end of Minam State Park upstream to the mouth of the Lostine River.
In addition, the lower Grande Ronde River will open for hatchery spring Chinook fishing on Saturday, June 13. The river will be open from the Oregon/Washington border to a deadline 100 yards upstream of the Wildcat/Powwatka Bridge on Grande Ronde River Rd. The area at the mouth of the Wenaha River at Troy, Ore. will be closed To protect wild stocks.
Bag limits are the same for all three fisheries: two adipose fin-clipped spring Chinook adults and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two daily limits in possession. Chinook jacks are salmon between 15 and 24 inches long. 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. Unmarked (wild) fish must be released carefully and unharmed.
All three fisheries will be open until further notice while biologists monitor angler harvest and the numbers of salmon still moving upriver through the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
“Our data suggests that only 25 percent of these stocks have crossed Bonneville Dam,” said Jeff Yanke, district fish biologist in Enterprise. “But we’ve already seen enough salmon migrating upstream to initially open these fisheries.
“Final harvest quotas will be determined as the run progresses,” Yanke added.
The Grande Ronde River will open for only the second time in 40 years, following a brief pilot fishery in 2014.
“High flows during our pilot fishery last year really made fishing tough, but with better conditions we expect this will become a very exciting new opportunity for Chinook fishing,” said Yanke. This fishery is being co-managed by states of Oregon and Washington, where a similar Chinook season will open on the Grande Ronde north of the Oregon/Washington border.
As with all Chinook fisheries in northeast Oregon, private lands border much of the area open to sport fishing. Anglers are reminded to ask permission before entering private property to fish, and to pick up trash when leaving. In addition, anglers are asked to respect tribal members who may also be fishing for spring Chinook using traditional methods.