Tag Archives: fishing

Salmon Open Off Most Of WA Coast This Saturday, Westport July 1

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

Sport anglers will have the opportunity to reel in salmon off the Washington coast starting Saturday, June 24.

That’s when marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) open daily for salmon fishing. Marine Area 2 (Westport) will open a week later on July 1.

ILWACO IS AMONG THE WASHINGTON PORTS OPENING FOR SALMON THIS SATURDAY, AND WILL DRAW LOCAL ANGLERS AND PUGETROPOLITES LIKE JOHN KEIZER ALIKE. (SALTPATROL.COM)

Fish managers expect slightly higher numbers of chinook and coho salmon will make their way through the ocean this year as compared to 2016, said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

ADS ON THE SIDES OF SOUND TRANSIT AND METRO BUSES ROLLING THROUGH SEATTLE AND ITS SUBURBS BECKON RESIDENTS TO WESTPORT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Due to the improved forecasts, the recreational chinook catch quota this year is 45,000, up from 35,000 in 2016. This year’s coho quota of 42,000 fish is an increase of 23,100 coho from 2016, when anglers were allowed to keep coho only in Marine Area 1. Coho retention is allowed in all four marine areas this summer.

Anglers fishing in marine areas 1 and 2 will have a daily limit of two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. In areas 3 and 4, anglers will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all areas, anglers must release wild coho.

STUART ALLEN AND OTHER NEAH BAY ANGLERS WILL BE TARGETING FAT CHINOOK THIS SEASON. THE TRI-CITIES ANGLER CAUGHT THIS ONE SEVERAL SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

All four marine areas are scheduled to close to salmon fishing at the end of the day Sept. 4 but could close earlier if the quota is met.

Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/ocean/ for updates

More information about the fisheries can be found in the 2017-18 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and sporting goods stores and online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01914/2017-18_marine.pdf.

Feds Say Sturgeon Too Tough On Roosevelt Fish-cleaning Stations, But In Doing So Offer Bad Advice

Sturgeon have had to be tough critters to stick around for hundreds of millions of years, and the recent opener on Lake Roosevelt is proving once again how durable these ancient fish are.

Well, sort of.

IT WAS AN “AWESOME DAY” FOR JANICE HARVEY, WHO CAUGHT THIS STURGEON ON LAKE ROOSEVELT FOLLOWING THE RECENT OPENER. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Federal managers on the Upper Columbia reservoir say macerators at their seven fish-cleaning stations aren’t quite up to the task of handling anglers’ diamondsides.

“Our fish-cleaning stations, located at Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Fort Spokane, Porcupine Bay, Hunters, Gifford Ferry, and Kettle Falls, are better suited for the softer bones of other fish species such as trout, kokanee, bass, and walleye,” says a June 6 press release from the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

They’re asking fishermen to take their catches home and then clean and dispose of the carcasses.

However, their release can also be read that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is recommending anglers fillet their fish on the lake and dump the rest into deep water.

That set off alarm bells at WDFW’s Spokane office, where the reaction this morning ran along the lines of, “Say what?!?!?!?”

It wasn’t immediately clear where Lake Roosevelt NRA got their information from, but because the fishery is governed by a slot limit designed to protect younger and older sturgeon, if catches are cut up on the water, there would be no way for WDFW officers to confirm fish are legal-sized.

“Anglers need to bring them off the lake intact and take them home at which point they can clean them and dispose of the remains,” WDFW spokesman Madonna Luers told Rich Landers at the Spokesman-Review.

The fishery is a unique opportunity with around 10,250 sturgeon available for harvest this year and over the coming nine.

Lake Roosevelt below the China Bend Boat Ramp was opened in late May, the first time in around 30 years.

It’s the result of state and provincial hatchery programs to reverse the decline of the species here. According to WDFW, survival rates have been higher than expected, leading to a surplus of fish.

Daily limit is one, with an annual limit of two.

As with sturgeon fisheries elsewhere, there’s a slot limit: Only fish with a fork length — the measurement from the tip of the snout to the fork in the tail fin — of 38 to 63 inches can be retained.

While the most of the lower reservoir is currently open, the spawning sanctuary from China Bend to the British Columbia border is closed until Aug. 1.

Both sections close after Sept. 17.

Columbia, SW, South-central WA Fishing Report (D-Day-2017)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM TANNA TAKATA WATTS, ODFW, PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

*         Shad angling is open from Buoy 10 upstream to the OR/WA Border.  Shad angling is good in the gorge.

*         White sturgeon retention is open from Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna power lines on Saturday June 10 and Saturday June 17 (see special regulations for details).

*         The Bonneville Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon on Saturday June 10 (see special regulations for details).

*         The McNary Pool is open to the retention of legal white sturgeon through July 31.

*         White sturgeon retention is closed from Wauna Power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam, and from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam, but remains an option for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers are reminded that spawning sanctuaries take effect May 1 (see special regulations for details).

*         Walleye fishing has been outstanding in The Dalles and John Day pools.

HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM GOT IN ON THE EAST COLUMBIA GORGE POOLS’ GOOD WALLEYE FISHING LAST MONTH, CATCHING HIS FIRST ON A TRIP IN WHICH HE, HIS DAD AND GRANDFATHER CAUGHT 60. (JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Current Columbia River regulations for salmon, steelhead, shad and sturgeon can be found at the Sport Fishing Regulation Update<http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp> page.

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed 550 shad kept for 121 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:  Weekend checking showed 230 shad kept for three boats (nine anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed 1,296 shad kept, plus 586 shad released for 135 bank anglers.

STURGEON

Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam: Catch and release only.

Gorge boats: Catch and release only.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed 10 sublegal and one oversize sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed four sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (three anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 293 walleye kept, plus 24 walleye released for 30 boats (77 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 220 walleye kept, plus 69 walleye released for 40 boats (108 anglers).

………………………………………………………..

Salmon/Steelhead

Elochoman River – No effort for salmonids.

Cowlitz River -271 bank rods kept 51 adult and 3 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, 2 cutthroats and released 3 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 2 cutthroats.   46 boat rods kept 7 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook, 4 steelhead and released 1 cutthroat.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 806 spring Chinook adults, 52 spring Chinook jacks, three winter-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead jack, 20 summer-run steelhead adults and nine cutthroat trout in four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 149 spring Chinook adults and 20 spring Chinook jacks and one winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River near Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 303 spring Chinook adults and 14 spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located near Randle.

In addition, Tacoma Power employees released 157 spring Chinook adults and eight spring Chinook jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood and one cutthroat trout into the Tilton River located at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,300 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 5. Water visibility is eight feet and water temperature is 47.1 degrees F.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.  18 boat anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.

Lewis River – 4 boat anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

North Fork Lewis River – 8 bank anglers kept 1 adult spring Chinook.  5 boat anglers kept 4 adult and 5 jack spring Chinook.

Wind River (mouth) – 7 bank anglers kept 2 adult spring Chinook.  36 boat rods kept 1 adult spring Chinook.

Drano Lake – 171 boat rods kept 16 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook and released 1 adult spring Chinook.

Klickitat River – 22 bank anglers kept 16 adult and 1 jack spring Chinook and released 5 adult spring Chinook.

Lower Yakima River Spring Chinook Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Fishing for all species continues to be very slow in the lower Yakima River. Although anglers continue to talk about fishing for spring Chinook no anglers have been observed.  Flows in the Yakima River have remained well above normal all season.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia from the mouth upstream to the Wauna powerlines including adjacent tributaries and Young’s Bay – Reports from yesterday’s opener was it very crowded.  Effort based on trailer counts was likely 500+ boats, not including charters.  Preliminary reports indicate maybe a legal kept per every 2 boats (not including charters).

Next fishery dates are Wednesday June 7, Saturday June 10, Monday June 12, Wednesday June 14, Saturday June 17
Legal size: 44-inch minimum and 50-inch maximum fork length
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited
On days open to white sturgeon retention, angling for sturgeon is prohibited after 2 PM, including catch and release.

Mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam (except for the sturgeon spawning sanctuary) and all adjacent tributaries- Sturgeon retention will be allowed for one day only, Saturday June 10. Retained sturgeon must measure between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
(Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish).
Daily bag limit: One fish
Annual bag limit: Two fish
Angling for sturgeon is prohibited from May through July from 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.

Bass and Channel Catfish

Lower Yakima River Fishery: April 28-June 4 – Anglers are catching a few smallmouth bass and channel catfish but in much fewer numbers than in previous years. WDFW staff has interviewed 117 anglers this season (April 28-June 4) with 90 smallmouth and 27 catfish. Total effort is estimated at 756 angler trips with 550 bass and 130 channel catfish harvested (287 bass and 16 catfish released).

By the end of May in 2016, staff had interviewed 460 anglers with 1,629 smallmouth bass and 275 catfish. An estimated 5,141 angler trips were made in May of 2016.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows in SW WA waters.
Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
440
2.5
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND+LK+%28KLIC%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Klickitat County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
2,058
2.51
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

SWIFT RES (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SWIFT+RES+%28SKAM%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Skamania County – Region 5
May 30, 2017
Rainbow
51,440
2.56
SPEELYAI HATCHERY

SWIFT RESERVOIR ON OPENING DAY (Sat. June 3)
51 anglers
121 fish kept
39 fish released
160 total caught
Kept: 2.37/angler
Total fish: 3.14/angler
Several holdovers caught in the 16″+ range. Smaller rainbows were real beefy.  Attached are some pics taken by WDFW Region 5 staff.
Windy and cold but anglers extremely happy. Only complaints were limiting too fast.

————–

Swift Power Canal
15 anglers
7 rainbow kept; 0 released
0.47 fish/angler

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – No report on angling success but lots of effort just below the dam with nearly 350 bank anglers counted there last Saturday June 3.   Daily dam counts vacillate between 2,000 and 20,000 fish per day.

All-depth recreational halibut fishing will close off Ilwaco

The following is a wdfw emergency rule change notice

FISHING RULE CHANGE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

May 24, 2017

All-depth recreational halibut fishing will close off Ilwaco, continue in most other marine areas

Action: Recreational halibut fishing in the all-depth area will close in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco), effective at the end of the day Thursday, May 25. Marine Areas 3 (La Push), 4 (Neah Bay), and 5-10 (Puget Sound) will be open to recreational halibut fishing for another day on Thursday, June 1.

Effective date: 11:59 p.m. Thursday, May 25, 2017

 Species affected: Pacific halibut

 Location:  Marine Areas 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

 Reason for action:  There is not sufficient quota remaining to allow another all-depth fishing day in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) after Thursday, May 25. There is, however, enough quota reserved to continue to allow halibut retention with bottomfish on board in the nearshore area of Marine Area 1 Mondays through Wednesdays until further notice.  Any quota not taken in the all-depth fishery will be transferred to the quota available for the nearshore area. 

Sufficient quota remains to open another fishing day in the north coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4) and Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5-10) on Thurs. June 1. Catch data will be evaluated following the opening on June 1 to determine if enough quota remains for additional fishing days in the north coast and Puget Sound. 

These rules conform to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 

Additional information: There is not sufficient quota remaining to open the nearshore fishery in Marine Area 2 (Westport). This area will remain closed to recreational halibut fishing for the remainder of the year.

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487

Dworshak Reservoir Fishing Forecast

The following is a press release from Idaho Department Of Fish and Game

Dworshak Reservoir Fishing Forecast

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 – 3:52 PM MDT

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a winter like this past one. But spring is here, the weather is warming and anglers are getting out on Dworshak Reservoir to chase bluebacks, smallies, or whatever else may bite.

Dworshak is one of the most popular fisheries in the Clearwater Region, and here’s how the fishery is shaping up.

Kokanee

Last season was a great year for kokanee anglers. There were more kokanee than typical, but of average size. A higher than average number of two year old fish resulted in one of the highest catch rates documented in the last 30 years. There was also a record number of larger, three year old fish.

Catches like the one pictured below were common for several hours of fishing. This year there could be a typical number of kokanee, but of above average size.  We expect there will be approximately 210,000 two year old kokanee, which is very close to the average two year old fish abundance since 2000.

In addition, about three percent of the two year old fish from last year could carry over as three year old fish, which would be a little over 10,000 fish. If this is the case, anglers could expect to catch one larger three year-old fish in each limit of 25.

One unknown this year is how many kokanee were entrained – lost through the dam. High entrainment would mean lower than average survival, and fewer fish than expected. Heavy snowpack resulted in the Corps of Engineers releasing high volumes of water out of the dam this spring.

While we did see evidence of a couple of entrainment events in late April, they appear to have been short in duration. We won’t know for sure until our surveys in late July, but at this point it appears we’ll still have plenty of fish for a decent fishery.

While on Dworshak in early May, we marked very few fish on our sounder and the anglers we spoke to were having a hard time locating fish as well. While this may indicate a lack of fish in the reservoir, we noticed what few fish we marked were holding very shallow. Surface temperatures at the time were ideal for kokanee, meaning that many of the fish could have been holding close to the surface, where they are difficult to impossible to find with down looking sonar.

This happened last April as well, when the fish seemed to disappear for about a month, until water temperatures warmed enough to force the fish back down in the water column. Any fish that haven’t been flushed out of the reservoir this spring will be much easier to locate as the water warms.

Overall, while kokanee numbers may be down from last year, size is on the increase. Most fish are already above the long-term average of 10 inches, and they should be just starting to grow for the year. We have already measured fish over 12 inches, including one that was brought to a check station that was 14 inches. With good growth, we could see fish averaging 12 inches by summer.

Smallmouth

If you’re not a kokanee fisherman, there are still plenty of reasons to fish Dworshak. Bass fishing has been good the last two years, and this year is shaping up to be more of the same.

Water temperatures have been cooler this spring, compared to the last two years, and larger fish moved into shallow water on the lower end of the reservoir by late April. As a result, the fishing has been slow, but the fish caught have been larger than average.

The smallmouth we checked in April averaged over 15 inches long, with some over 18 inches. As the water continues to warm, the larger fish will move into deeper water and smaller fish will move up along the banks. As this happens, catch rates will pick up, but average size will go down. Water temperatures have been much cooler on the upper end of the reservoir, so these movements will be happening over the next few weeks.

Even with cooler temperatures and some tougher angling conditions this spring, some dandy smallmouth continue to be caught. Anglers fishing a tournament at the end of April did quite well, with most anglers returning with limits of medium to large fish.

ODFW seeks input on upcoming Columbia Basin summer steelhead seasons

The following is a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

NEWS RELEASE
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
www.odfw.com

Contact
Tucker Jones, (971) 673-6067, tucker.a.jones@state.or.us
John North, (971) 673-6029, john.a.north@state.or.us
Jessica Sall, (503) 947-6023, jessicasall@state.or.us

Thursday, May 18, 2017

ODFW seeks input on upcoming Columbia Basin summer steelhead seasons

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting on Wednesday, May 24 to solicit input for recreational summer steelhead fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River and adjacent streams. The meeting will be held at ODFW NW Region Office, 17330 SE Evelyn Street, Clackamas, Ore. from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Forecasted 2017 returns for Columbia and Snake River summer steelhead are at unprecedentedly low levels and restrictions to recreational fisheries will be necessary. The meeting agenda will include an overview of the 2017 summer steelhead forecast and proposed changes to Columbia River summer and fall steelhead regulations.

People who cannot attend the meeting can send input to John North (john.a.north@state.or.us) or Tucker Jones (tucker.a.jones@state.or.us)

WDFW Fishing Rule Change: WDFW approves another day of halibut fishing in marine areas 3 and 4, portions of Puget Sound

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

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

 May 17, 2017

WDFW approves another day of halibut fishing
in marine areas 3 and 4, portions of Puget Sound

Action:  Recreational halibut fishing will open Thursday, May 25, in marine areas 3 (La Push), 4 (Neah Bay), and 5-10 (Puget Sound).

WDFW previously announced halibut fishing will be open May 21 in these same areas as well as Marine Area 2 (Westport).

Effective date: May 25, 2017.

Species affected: Pacific halibut.

Location:  Marine areas 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Reason for action:  After reviewing the most recent recreational Pacific halibut catch data, it is clear that sufficient quota remains to open another fishing day in the north coast (marine areas 3 and 4) and Puget Sound (marine areas 5-10) on Thursday, May 25. Catch data will be evaluated following the opening on May 25 to determine if enough quota remains for additional fishing days in the north coast and Puget Sound. 

However, there will not be sufficient quota remaining in marine area 2 to open another all depth fishing day after Sunday, May 21. We will assess the Area 2 catch and, if there is sufficient quota to open a nearshore fishery, we will announce that the following week.  If not, then the nearshore fishery will remain closed. 

The recreational halibut fishery remains open in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) Thursdays through Sundays at all depths and Mondays through Wednesdays in the nearshore area.

These rules conform to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487.

Snake River spring chinook fisheries to close

THE FOLLOWING IS A WDFW EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE

Fishing Rule Change

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

May 16, 2017

Snake River spring chinook fisheries to close  

Action: Closes the chinook fishery on the Snake River.

Species affected:  Spring chinook salmon.

Effective date:  Immediately.

Locations:

  1. A) Below Ice Harbor Dam:  Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam;
  2. B) Below Little Goose Dam:  Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam.  This zone includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility);
  3. C) Clarkston:  Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA / ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).

Reason for action:  The spring chinook run size was downgraded from 160,400 to 83,000. This extreme drop in run size requires WDFW to close this fishery immediately.

Information Contact:  Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist, (509) 382-1005.

Oli’s fishing Charters

Nestled in one of British Columbia’s secret spots lies Winter Harbour, which is located on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. The sheltered harbor is a fisherman’s sanctuary and a gateway to your amazing adventure. Winter Harbour is remote and untouched compared to many over fished and populated spots and offers an abundance and variety of species. All 5 species of salmon swim along the coast throughout the season. Large runs of Chinook salmon (aka Spring’s or Kings) swim right off our doorstep with only a short run to the salmon highway. Winter Harbour also offers some excellent inside fishing for monster Marble River Chinook and huge coho runs that are heading up various rivers up the inlet. Our ocean waters offer excellent bottom fish including huge halibut, Ling Cod, Red Snapper (Yellow Eye) and a variety of rock fish.

Whatever your preference, we can provide it to you. Oli’s Fishing Charters, experienced, licensed, guided adventure, with all equipment provided.

Throughout your fishing adventure you will be surrounded by stunning scenery including breath-taking horizons and mountainous rainforests. Lots of local wildlife including Black bears scavenging the shores, bald eagles soaring above, breeching whales, porpoises, massive sun fish, sharks and much more. So bring your camera!

 

States delay lower Columbia River steelhead fishery opening

SALEM, Ore – An action packed weekend is coming up in LaGrande at the 12th annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival, May 19-21.

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers have postponed the annual fishery for hatchery steelhead and jack Chinook salmon from Tongue Point upriver to the Interstate 5 Bridge set to begin May 16.

Lower than expected passage of spring Chinook salmon over Bonneville Dam coupled with the spring Chinook catch to date in the recreational fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam are the primary causes of the delay. As of yesterday only about 26,000 of the approximately 160,000 forecasted spring Chinook salmon had been counted at Bonneville Dam.

Although steelhead anglers would have been required to release any adult salmon they caught in the postponed fishery, a certain percentage would die after release. “Unfortunately we just don’t have any lower river sport allocation left to operate this fishery prior to a run update,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program manager.

“We’re not sure if this run is just very late or also below forecast,” Jones said “Water conditions have been way outside of normal this year, and that could be the primary cause for the low counts to date,” he added.

“The abnormal water conditions this year have injected a level of uncertainty into assessing this run that doesn’t typically exist,” Jones said. “Given the unclear situation we have this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes another week or two before we really know the full story on this year’s return.”