THE FOLLOWING IS AN ODFW PRESS RELEASE
Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington added two days, Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14, to the lower Columbia spring Chinook fishery. ;The open area remains unchanged from earlier this season, which is the Columbia River mainstem from the Warrior Rock deadline upstream to Beacon Rock, for both boat and bank angling, plus bank angling only from Beacon Rock upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline.
The adult daily bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (Chinook or steelhead) per day but only one may be a Chinook.
The additional spring Chinook fishing time was approved after a review of harvest data that indicated anglers in this river section had achieved about half of their buffered upriver spring Chinook harvest guideline during the initial season, which concludes tonight.
The states also decided to close the recreational white sturgeon fishery in Bonneville Pool effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday April 13. Catch projections indicate harvest will be approaching the annual guideline for this reservoir by then. Retention seasons in The Dalles and John Day pools closed earlier this year. Catch and release angling will remain open in all three pools except in designated sturgeon sanctuaries that are in effect during May-July.
For more information, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone
THE FOLLOWING WAS OUR STORY PREDECISION
Lower Columbia salmon managers say there are enough spring Chinook available for harvest to consider an April 12-14 opener on the river between Bonneville and Warrior Rock.
They project that through today, 45 percent of the 3,689 upriver-bound fish available will have been taken.
“Given the significant balance on the pre-season buffered allocation of upriver spring Chinook (2,028 fish remain available), there is potential for additional angling opportunity,” reads a fact sheet from WDFW.
State staff are proposing reopening the river this Friday through Sunday, with fishing still prohibited below the mouth of the Lewis to protect weak-forecasted hatchery returns to that river and the Cowlitz.
The three-day fishery would yield 1,221 upriver springers, bringing the quota to 78 percent full.
“Considering the limited in-season information available regarding the upriver spring Chinook run, staff recommends a conservative approach moving forward with this fishery, including shifting to a limited days-per-week structure for any additional fishery openings. This will provide additional recreational opportunity while allowing staff the time to closely monitor the run and harvest,” the fact sheet for today’s 3 p.m. ODFW-WDFW teleconference states.
A run of 58,000 would cover the catch through the end of fishing today plus the weekend, according to state managers.
This year’s run is on the low side, and it’s been slow to build. Through yesterday, just 184 have been counted at Bonneville, just 13 percent of the 10-year average.
The fact sheet does note that the Columbia is about 2 degrees cooler than normal, though also flowing below average.
The past week’s rains are expected to lift the river at Vancouver to 15.5 feet tomorrow, a half a foot below flood stage, but drop through the weekend.