THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RLEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The combination of cooling water temperatures in the Columbia River and additional protections in the form of a river-wide steelhead retention closure have allowed managers to re-open the closed area adjacent to the mouth of the Deschutes River effective Thursday Sept. 6.
THE COOL PLUME OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER WHERE IT ENTERS THE COLUMBIA IS A PRODUCTIVE PLACE TO FISH FOR FALL CHINOOK. GENARO RAMOS HOOKED THIS UPRIVER BRIGHT THERE IN 2016’S FISHERY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)
The Columbia River section outside the Deschutes mouth had been closed to angling since Aug. 9 based on direction from the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to protect wild summer steelhead that may be using the cooler water provided by this tributary.
“Although steelhead returns are still below pre-season expectations, the additional protections provided by the river-wide retention closure coupled with decreasing temperatures allows us to open this popular Chinook salmon fishing area. That being said, if an angler does happen to catch a steelhead while fishing for something else, it is critical that they do their utmost to ensure its survival by using best fishing practices,” said Tucker Jones, manager of ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program.
Anglers are reminded that due to poor returns of upriver summer steelhead, a retention closure remains in effect for steelhead in the mainstem Columbia River from the mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco, WA. The closure also includes the lower John Day River downstream from Tumwater Falls. In addition, the current fishing closure in the Deschutes River extending downstream from the lower end of Moody Rapids to the Deschutes River mouth at the Highway 84 Bridge will remain in place. The steelhead closures are expected to continue through the end of the year.
For more information and regulation updates, please see ODFW’s Columbia River Zone online.
ODFW MARKINGS ON A NOAA CHART SHOW THE CLOSURE AREA AROUND THE MOUTH OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER THAT IS NOW BEING LIFTED. (ODFW/NOAA)
THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Columbia River around the mouth of the Deschutes River will close to all fishing, including catch-and-release, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9 in order to protect summer steelhead that may be utilizing the cooler water provided by this tributary.
THE COOL PLUME OF THE DESCHUTES RIVER WHERE IT ENTERS THE COLUMBIA IS A PRODUCTIVE PLACE TO FISH FOR FALL CHINOOK AS WELL AS STEELHEAD. GENARO RAMOS HOOKED THIS UPRIVER BRIGHT THERE IN 2016’S FISHERY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)
At their Aug. 3 meeting, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission directed ODFW staff to amend fishing regulations for the Columbia River near the Deschutes and in the lower Deschutes from the mouth upstream to Moody Rapids. The direction included closing this area to all fishing until river temperatures have stabilized below 68 F. ODFW staff will continue to monitor river temperatures and run sizes throughout the fall to determine when the area can be reopened. This is unlikely to occur prior to late-September.
The closed areas will be:
- All waters south of a straight line projecting from the flashing red USCG light #2 upstream to the lower South Channel Range B marker located approximately 3/4-mile upstream of the mouth of the Deschutes;
- The lower Deschutes River from the mouth upstream to markers placed on the downstream end of Moody Rapids.
ODFW MARKINGS ON A NOAA CHART SHOW THE CLOSURE AREA. (ODFW/NOAA)
Concerns about the vulnerability of fish to fishing pressure in the mouths of some tributaries of the Columbia River were sparked by the historically low returns of Snake River-bound summer steelhead in 2017. At that time the states of Oregon and Washington adopted unprecedented restrictions to several fisheries to reduce mortality on these fish.
In June 2018, ODFW staff outlined for the Commission a plan to take a comprehensive look at potential thermal sanctuaries throughout the Columbia River. That review process will include a series of public meetings in the fall of 2018 followed by rulemaking in early 2019.