Tag Archives: summer chinook

Columbia Salmon Reforms Subpanel Recommends 2016 Allocations To OR, WA Fish Commissions

Supporters of Columbia River salmon reforms are urging anglers to get in touch with fishery overseers and one state’s lawmakers after a subpanel of the Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissions this week voted to revert to 2016 benchmarks.

ANGLERS RUN UPSTREAM DURING THE 2017 SPRING CHINOOK SEASON ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

“.. Stop bowing to small special interest groups and start leading in managing our fisheries for abundance,” reads a Coastal Conservation Association of Oregon letter posted on Facebook after Tuesday’s recommendation on an amended “Option 1.”

That came out of a six-hour meeting of three members from both states and now goes to the full commissions for consideration and final approval, with Washington possibly deciding as early as tomorrow whether to go along with the pause or not.

Essentially, sport and commercial allocations for spring and summer Chinook would fall back from 2018’s 80-20 to 70-30, the level that fall kings are being fished at, and the transition from gillnet to alternative gear only in the mainstem would be postponed, with both allowable.

Thrown into the bargain is a relaxing of the mandatory barbless hook requirement for anglers “effective as soon as practical but by June 1, 2019 at the latest,” according to a WDFW staff summary.


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Members voting against the proposal were Washington’s Dave Graybill of Leavenworth and Oregon’s Bob Webber of Port Orford.

Voting to recommend it were Bob Kehoe of Seattle, Bruce Buckmaster of Astoria and Holly Akenson of Enterprise.

Hockinson, Washington’s Don McIsaac, who chaired the subpanel, “announced the motion would pass without the Chair voting and did not vote,” according to WDFW documents.

Option 2 would have stuck to Washington’s 2018 policy — 80-20, 80-20, ~75-~25 for spring, summer and fall Chinook with no mainstem gillnets — while Option 3, the “no loss of economic benefit alternative,” had two choices with ~65-~35 splits on fall Chinook with one banning gillnets and the other allowing it.

Under Option 1, 2019 spring Chinook shares would remain at 80-20 unless an inseason update suggests we’ll see more than 128,000 upriver-bound kings, and then 70-30 would come into play.

THE COLUMBIA REFORMS WERE AGREED TO BY Washington and Oregon back in 2012 and began to be implemented in 2013.

They prioritized developing new alternative nontribal commercial gear in the mainstem, moving netting to off-channel areas near the mouth, and increasing allocation for sportfishers.

Allocations are essentially allowable catch impacts on Endangered Species Act-listed salmon.

In part, the move also aimed to help more wild salmon and steelhead get through to upstream spawning grounds.

But certain aspects have proved difficult to achieve, including the search for alternative gear and finding bays on the Washington side for the net fleet, leading to discontent from commercial interests.

That first led to a pause in the transition for fall Chinook and then a large review of how the whole program has worked and review by the subpanel, which brings us to today.

ACCORDING TO WDFW DOCUMENTS, ALL THE POTENTIAL OPTION 1 ALLOCATIONS ARE ABOVE WHERE THEY WERE FOR SPORTFISHERMEN IN THE SO-CALLED 2010-2012 BASE PERIOD, 60-40 ON SPRING CHINOOK, 50-50 SUMMER CHINOOK AND 59-41 ON FALL CHINOOK. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

A WDFW STAFF SUMMARY OF THE SUBPANEL’S “RATIONALE” for recommending Option 1 states:

* Comprehensive Evaluation of Washington Policy showed Policy did not work as expected.
* Goal to have concurrent policies for 2019 (and beyond).
* Current WA Policy includes an adaptive management provision –make changes when the assumptions are not met.
* There is no substantial difference between the options regarding conservation benefits.
* No significant change in angler trips between options, and remains above pre-policy baseline.
* Option 1 goes the furthest towards increasing commercial ex-vessel values.
* Original policy goals were good but did not sufficiently employ the adaptive management provisions that were included in the policies.

Subpanel members who opposed it believed it:

* Should not increase allocation for commercial fishery in 2019 due to forecasts.
* Maintain escapement to upriver areas by not increasing commercial allocation

This year’s Columbia Chinook expectations are on the low side, with 99,300 upriver springers and 157,500 overall, 35,900 summer kings and 340,400 fall brights and tules.

EVEN AS ODFW AND WDFW’S FULL COMMISSIONS PONDER this week’s recommendation, a bill active in Washington’s legislature seeks to remove nontribal gillnets from that state’s side of the Columbia.

While three cosponsors — Sens. Mona Das, Joe Nguyen and Emily Randall, all Democrats — appear to have since abandoned it, SB 5617 cleared one committee ahead of last week’s initial bill deadline and has been referred to Senate Ways and Means.

That committee is chaired by Sen. Christine Rolfes (D), who earlier this session spoke in favor of the bill as codifying WDFW policy.

And CCA Oregon has drummed up a letter for fishermen to send to both states’ managers and overseers.

“Over a hundred thousand sport fishers in each state are funding both DFWs while a few dozen are driving reversals to allow antiquated, non selective commercial fishing gear, that was outdated and outlawed in the rest of the state (of Oregon) since the last century,” the letter reads in part.

“I respectfully ask you to please not endorse the proposed changes to allow more commercial gillnet seasons on the river. I also urge you to stop bowing to small special interest groups and start leading in managing our fisheries for abundance.”

And they’ve also come up with information to send to Oregon lawmakers.

AS FOR NEXT STEPS, ON SATURDAY MORNING IN SPOKANE, Washington’s full Fish and Wildlife Commission will take up the subject — here are links to documents WDFW staff has prepared — with Oregon’s expected to on March 15.

The overarching goal is to set concurrent seasons ahead of the bulk of 2019’s fisheries, which are being discussed and set this month and next through the annual North of Falcon salmon-season-setting process.

How it all shakes out will be very interesting. Hold on to your hats, kids.

‘Next Steps’ In Columbia Salmon Reforms Subject Of ODFW-WDFW Commissioners Meeting; Open To Public

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE WASHINGTON AND OREGON DEPARTMENTS OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

WDFW

The public is invited to attend a meeting scheduled this month by members of the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions to discuss next steps in reforming salmon management on the Columbia River.

GUIDE BOB REES NETS A FALL CHINOOK AT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA. THE “NEXT STEPS” IN SALMON REFORMS ON THE BIG RIVER WILL BE DISCUSSED BY FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSIONERS FROM BOTH STATES IN SALEM. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The meeting is set for Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Room, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. S.E. in Salem, Ore. The public is welcome to observe the discussion, but will not have an opportunity to comment during the meeting.

The Joint-State Columbia River Salmon Fishery Policy Review Committee, which includes three members of each state’s commission, was formed to renew efforts to achieve management goals for Columbia River fisheries endorsed by both states in 2013.

The three delegates to the workgroup from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are commissioners David Graybill from Chelan County, Bob Kehoe from King County, and Don McIsaac from Clark County. The commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

WDFW recently finalized its five-year performance review of the 2013 fishery reform policy, which called for reforms ranging from requirements that anglers use barbless hooks to a phase-out of commercial gillnets in the main channel of the Columbia River. While the performance review noted progress on some issues, expectations have not been met in a variety of other key areas, said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW Columbia River policy coordinator.

“This new effort is designed to find common ground on strategies for improving fishery management in the Columbia River,” Lothrop said. “Having different policies in joint waters of the Columbia River makes it very difficult to manage and implement fisheries.”

Washington’s Comprehensive Evaluation of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02029/.

Lothrop, who will staff Washington’s commissioners, said the workgroup’s first task will be to establish a schedule for future meetings. The panel will then discuss issues addressed in the policy review, focusing initially on strategies that could to be incorporated into fishing regulations for the 2019 season.

To take effect, any new proposals endorsed by the workgroup would require approval by the full fish and wildlife commissions in each state, Lothrop said.

“The group doesn’t have a lot of time to discuss changes for 2019,” Lothrop said. “The season-setting process for this year’s salmon fisheries gets underway in mid-March, so that’s the focus for the near term.”

………………………..

ODFW

A joint workgroup of commissioners from the Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife commissions will meet to discuss policies affecting Columbia River salmon fisheries. The workgroup includes three members from each state’s commission.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Commission room at the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem. The meeting is open to attendance by the public, but no public testimony will be taken.

The workgroup meeting follows a November 2018 joint meeting of the two full Commissions to discuss differences between the current policies of each state. The workgroup’s first task will be to establish a schedule and process for future meetings. The workgroup will then begin discussion of issues, initially focusing on finding common ground for 2019 fishing seasons.

The workgroup meetings are not decision-making meetings. The workgroups will report back to their full Commissions, who will ultimately consider any changes to their respective policies.

2019 Columbia Spring And Summer Chinook, Sockeye Forecasts Out

One of 2019’s first Northwest salmon forecasts was quietly posted late last week, a not-so-stellar prediction for Columbia spring and summer Chinook as well as sockeye.

According to ODFW and WDFW, the big river will see an overall run of 157,500 springers, 35,900 summer kings, and 99,300 of the red salmon.

A COLUMBIA RIVER ANGLER SIZES UP HIS SPRING CHINOOK DURING 2016’S RUN. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

All of those figures are well below 10-year averages but should come as no surprise given recent ocean conditions.

Expectations for next year’s first salmon runs of the year were essentially set all the way back in 2017 when federal fishery overseers warned that that spring’s offshore survey of juvenile Columbia salmon foresoothed poor 2018 returns continuing into 2019.

Still, some individual stocks are expected to hold steady or even improve slightly this coming season.

And things may improve down the road as 2018’s spring ocean sampling did find above-average numbers of coho and average to just slightly below average numbers of Chinook. That might translate into better silver fishing this summer and for springers and summer kings in 2020.

“Stay hopeful” was Liz Hamilton’s reaction last Friday when asked about this year’s adult numbers.

The executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association pointed to a linkage between spring spill down the Columbia hydropower system to benefit outmigrating smolts and subsequent increased adult spring returns in past years.

“The ocean isn’t as quite as good as it was then, and the high waters of the last two springs weren’t quite as high, but we do have a court order for spill that we didn’t have then combined with more fish to start with. And if we win our battle for more spring spill, you’ll see even better smolt to adult returns, as much as two to three times improved!” she said.

Hamilton is among the state fishery managers and industry officials who are meeting today at 1 p.m. in Clackamas to go over 2019’s figures, the first steps as we move towards setting the seasons in midwinter.

As for the forecasts, those are:

Columbia springers (all runs, SAFE to Central Idaho): 157,500, down 91,000 from the overall 2018 forecast and 20,000 fewer than the actual return; just over half of the 10-year average and would be the lowest since 2007 if it returns as predicted

Willamette: 40,200, one of the lowest forecasts in 10 years but above 2018’s actual return; 10-year average is 64,900

Sandy: 5,500, slightly more than 2018’s forecast and more than actually came back last year

Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis: 4,300 (1,300, 1,400, 1,600), the lowest forecast this millennium; 10-year average is 15,300

Mid-Columbia (Wind, Drano, Hood, Klickitat, Yakima, Umatilla): 40,000, slightly up from 2018 and 5,000-plus fish more than actually returned

Upriver (Upper Columbia, Snake springs and summers): 99,300, 60 percent of last year’s preseason forecast and 16,000 fewer than actually returned; would be the fewest since 2007; 10-year average is 204,500

Upper Columbia summer Chinook: 35,900, down from the 2018 forecast of 67,300 and actual return of 42,120; would be lowest since 2000

Columbia, Snake sockeye: 94,400, down somewhat from 2018’s forecast; includes 74,500 to the Okanogan/Okanagan and 18,300 to Lake Wenatchee; overall, less than a third of the 10-year average

The caveat to that last one is that sockeye have proven somewhat tough to reliably forecast. Last year’s prediction didn’t allow for Columbia fisheries, but when the run came in twice as large, managers were able to open a season.

Columbia spring Chinook seasons are typically set by late February, usually with a 30 percent upriver runsize buffer to guard against an unexpectedly low return. Managers can add additional fishing time if angling is slower than expected or the midseason update is better than expected.

Bait OKed For Entiat Summer Kings

Keep an eye on the Cougar Creek Fire burning well upstream, but starting tomorrow on the Entiat you can use bait for summer Chinook.

AN ANGLER FISHES BELOW THE ENTIAT NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY. (USFWS)

WDFW says it is relaxing the selective-gear rule on the Chelan County river to increase retention of hatchery kings to keep them off the spawning grounds of wild springers further upstream.

Anglers will also be able to use up to two single barbless hooks on their line.

The changes go into effect Aug. 4 from the mouth to the boundary marker above the upper Roaring Creek bridge and just below the national fish hatchery.

By catch stat, August was the best month on the Entiat during the 2016 season, accounting for 199 of the 309 Chinook caught that year.

A STAFFER AT THE ENTIAT NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY HOLDS A SUMMER CHINOOK. (USFWS)

The river’s running below average for this time of year, around 180 cubic feet per second. As of July 21, 138 kings had returned to the fish hatchery. Managers are expecting a better return than last year’s strong one. The daily limit is six.

For information on the fire, which made a run yesterday and led to a level 3 evacuation notice from Potato Creek to road end, monitor #CougarCreekFire and #wawildfire on Twitter, see InciWeb and Chelan County Emergency Management.

 

WDFW Rolls Out Upper Columbia Chinook Closures, Sockeye Limit Bump

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

Salmon limits revised on Columbia River, tributaries between Priest Rapids Dam and Chief Joseph Dam

Action:

  • Release all adult chinook salmon
  • Increase daily sockeye limit to 3 fish

Species affected: Adult chinook salmon and sockeye.

BREWSTER POOL AND OTHER UPPER COLUMBIA SALMON ANGLERS WILL NEED TO RELEASE CHINOOK STARTING JULY 16, A DAY AFTER THE QUOTA UNDER A LOWER FORECAST IS EXPECTED TO BE MET, BUT CAN CONTINUE FISHING FOR UP TO THREE SOCKEYE A DAY UNDER AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE FROM WDFW. (BRIAN LULL)

Locations and effective dates:

  • Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through August 31. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15.  Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Wells Dam to Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through August 31. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained.  Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam: July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon, no more than 3 sockeye may be retained. Release all adult chinook and coho. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Wenatchee River (mouth to Icicle Road bridge): August 1 through September 30. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Chelan River (from railroad bridge upstream to Chelan P.U.D. safety barrier below the powerhouse): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 31: Daily limit 4 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Okanogan River (from mouth upstream to Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through October 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye.  Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Okanogan River (from Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth to the second Hwy. 97 Bridge in Oroville): July 16 at 12:01 a.m. through September 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.
  • Similkameen River (from mouth upstream to 400 feet below Enloe Dam): July 16 through September 15. Daily limit 6 salmon. Release all adult chinook, coho, and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

Reason for action: The summer chinook run was downsized to a total of 44,000, which is 35% below the preseason forecast. This reduction in the chinook run decreased the allowable catch in recreational fisheries above Priest Rapids Dam. Anglers are expected to catch their allocation by July 15, 2018.

Additional information: 

The decline in this year’s projected summer chinook run size also prompted the closure of summer chinook fisheries below Priest Rapids Dam earlier this month. The following sportfishing seasons are in effect for salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Columbia River:

Megler-Astoria Bridge to Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco: Salmon and steelhead, July 7-July 31: Daily limit 6, up to 2 adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or 1 of each may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery jack chinook and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam: Salmon, July 7-August 15: Daily limit 6, up to 2 adult salmon may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery jack chinook and sockeye. Salmon minimum size 12 inches.

The Entiat River salmon season will remain unchanged and as described in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The fall chinook seasons between Priest Rapids Dam and Rock Island Dam will remain unchanged and as described in the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. Anglers are reminded that the Colville Confederated Tribe will be out capturing chinook for hatchery broodstock with their purse seiner.

Information contact: Region 2-Ephrata (509) 754-4624 or Wenatchee (509) 662-0452

 

It’s Official! Columbia Sockeye Will Open, Tho Kings To Close Below Bonneville

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

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.

ANGLERS WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP SOCKEYE IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER UP THROUGH THE BREWSTER POOL, WHERE THESE WERE CAUGHT BY BROTHERS AND A FRIEND OF GUIDE DON TALBOT A FEW SEASONS AGO. (DONSFISHINGGUIDESERVICE.COM)

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/

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (6-25-18)

THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORT ORIGINATED WITH WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

BONUS FACTOIDS – The 4.9 million shad counted at Bonneville Dam through June 24th are the second highest on record.  The record are the 5.06 million fish counted through June 24, 2004.  However, this year’s run still remains strong with 262,000-380,000 shad counted daily at the dam this past week.  The record total of nearly 5.4 million fish counted in 2004 could fall in the next couple days!

A BIG RUN OF SHAD YIELDED WHAT’S BELIEVED TO BE THE SECOND HIGHEST SPORT CATCH SINCE 1969. (ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS)

The nearly 91,000 sockeye counted at Bonneville Dam through June 24 have almost met the pre-season forecast of 99,000 fish for 2018.  In fact, they are the 7th highest on record thru June 24th!

Salmon/Steelhead

Elochoman River – 15 bank anglers kept 6 steelhead.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream:  6 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br:  5 bank rods had no catch.   51 boat rods kept 26 steelhead.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.Lewis River (mainstem) – 3 boat anglers kept 1 steelhead.

Wind River – 3 boat rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 9 boat rods kept 2 adult spring Chinook and 1 steelhead.

Wind River and Drano Lake – At Wind River, June 30 is the last day to fish for spring Chinook above Shipherd Falls. It is also the last day for the two-poles, boat limits, and barbed hooks for both Wind River and Drano Lake. Drano Lake will be open 7 days per week beginning July 1 and the bank only area near the mouth will be open for boats.

Klickitat River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam – Since the hatchery adult summer Chinook opener on June 22, bank anglers from Kalama upstream are catching some fish; boat anglers are catching fish more spread throughout the lower river.  Almost equal numbers of summer steelhead are also being handled.

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem from the Light 85 line downstream – Light effort and catch during the current catch-and-release only fishery.

Trout

4,500 catchable size rainbow trout were planted in Mayfield Lake on June 20.  No report on angling success.

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Based on mainly incomplete trips, bank anglers just below the dam averaged 4 shad per rod while boat anglers averaged nearly 14 fish per rod based on completed trips the past few days.

More Details On 2018 Columbia Summer, Fall Salmon Seasons

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

Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2018 summer and fall fisheries for the Columbia River.

MORNING AT “BUOY 10” …  (BRIAN LULL)

This year, anglers will see changes to daily bag limits and fewer fishing days for Chinook salmon due to lower harvest guidelines resulting from below-average salmon and steelhead forecasts.

For the summer season, adult Chinook retention will be limited to June 22 through July 4 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam. From Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, the summer Chinook season is scheduled for June 16 through July 31. The daily adult bag limit for both areas is two hatchery salmonids, which may include up to two Chinook when retention is allowed. Due to projected low escapement, sockeye retention will be prohibited this year.

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER SALMON ANGLERS FISH BELOW THE LONGVIEW BRIDGE, WHERE JOHN FIELDING SNAPPED THIS ON-THE-WATER SHOT.(DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

The fall seasons will start Aug. 1 based on a projected return of 375,500 fall Chinook, down from 476,100 last year. This year’s forecast includes 205,100 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 296,500 in 2017. Based on this lower forecast, fisheries will be managed for a harvest rate of 8.25 percent, down from 15 percent in the recent years, resulting in shorter fall Chinook retention seasons.

“Through the recent season-setting process, we worked with the public to design fall fisheries within the upriver bright Chinook constraints,” said John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program. “Hopefully a run upgrade in mid-September will allow us to liberalize some fisheries and provide additional opportunity.”

COLUMBIA RIVER STEELHEADERS WILL HAVE A ONE-HATCHERY-SUMMER-RUN LIMIT STARTING AUG. 1. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Though improved from last year’s return, predicted steelhead returns remain below average. To reduce harvest, anglers will be limited to one steelhead per day from Aug. 1 to the end of the year.

For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at www.myodfw.com.

The following are detailed regulations for the 2018 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summary of 2018

Summer/Fall Salmon and Steelhead Regulations for the mainstem Columbia River

All regulations may be subject to in-season modification

Summer Season (June 16-July 31)

  • Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam

o   Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 22 – July 4 (13 days).

o   Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.

o   All other permanent rules apply.

  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

o   Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 16 – July 31.

o   Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.

o   All other permanent rules apply.

Fall Seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31)

  • Buoy 10

o    Area definition: From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (16-inches or longer) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Daily bag limits by time period are described below. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Aug. 24: Retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed. The daily bag limit is one adult salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, or hatchery steelhead only).

o    Aug. 25 – Sept. 30: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

o    Oct. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained.

  • Lower Columbia: Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island

o    Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Sept. 2: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).

o    Sept. 3 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

  • Lower Columbia: Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam

o    Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.

o    Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o    Aug. 1 – Sept. 14: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).

o    Sept. 15 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.

  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

o   Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Coho jacks may be retained. All coho (adults and jacks) retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.

o   Effective Aug. 1, retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) and Chinook jacks allowed but will be managed in-season based on actual catches and the upriver bright fall Chinook run-size. The daily adult bag limit is two salmonids, and may include up to one Chinook and up to one hatchery steelhead.

More Upriver Columbia Springers Expected In 2018

Columbia River salmon managers are forecasting a better spring Chinook run in 2018.

They’re expecting 166,700 bound for tributaries east of Bonneville Dam, according to a Facebook post by the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

SPENCER RHODES SHOWS OFF A WESTERN COLUMBIA GORGE HATCHERY SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT THIS SEASON. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

The prediction, which was made by the U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee last week, is for almost 51,000 more than actually returned this year, 115,822.

This year’s original preseason forecast was for 160,400, which may provide a gauge for how 2018 recreational fisheries will shape up.

Snake River Chinook are expected to come in twice as strong as they did in 2017, with 107,400 forecast.

Upper Columbia summer kings are forecast to be about as strong as this year, with 67,300 expected.

Unfortunately, it looks like another bum sockeye year, with just under 100,000 returning to the Okanogan/Okanagan, Lake Wenatchee and Central Idaho.

With a similar sized run this year, managers had to scrub fisheries on the Columbia from the Tri-Cities area up to Chief Joseph Dam to get enough fish back on the gravel and for hatchery broodstock programs.

State fishery managers will meet with representatives from the sportfishing world this Wednesday at ODFW’s Clackamas office to go over the forecasts.

Entiat Hatchery Opening Bank Spot To Chinook Fishing, For First Time

Central Washington anglers have a new spot to fish for summer Chinook.

Managers of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery are opening part of their grounds along the river for the first time.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE CALIBER OF SUMMER KING RETURNING TO THE ENTIAT NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY. (USFWS)

The specific area is “right along the riverfront, just on the other side of the hatchery’s abatement pond,” according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Amanda Smith.

The request came from residents of the northern Chelan County valley, according to the agency, and helps fulfill an edict from Washington DC.

“Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has directed us to provide more fishing and hunting on public land,” said manager Craig Chisam in a press release, “and we’re doing that. We will do everything we can to accommodate it.”

This year will see the second full return of adult summer Chinook since the facility began producing the stock in 2009.

So far around 180 have arrived, and while biologists estimate around 1,200 will eventually show up, Chisam is “hopeful and optimistic that we will be closer to 2,000 because returns have just been on the late side this year.”

AN ANGLER FISHES BELOW THE HATCHERY. (USFWS)

According to WDFW catch card data from 2015, the most recent year figures are available for, anglers kept 114 kings that season, mostly in July, but about 40 percent in August and September combined.

The Entiat is open under selective-gear rules and a night closure, with a two-hatchery-Chinook limit through Sept. 15. Salmon fishing is open from the railroad bridge at the mouth to markers 1,500 feet upstream of the upper Roaring Creek Road bridge, where the hatchery is.

Try spoons or spinners. Catch code is 586.

Right now, the Entiat is flowing about average height for this time of year, 362 cubic feet per second.

Fish that make it past anglers and are surplus to hatchery needs are given to area tribes, according to USFWS.