THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM WDFW AND ODFW
WDFW News Release: Buoy 10 fishery closing to Chinook retention; coho retention remains open
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced Monday that the Columbia River’s Buoy 10 fishery will close for Chinook salmon retention beginning Wednesday, Aug. 31.
The fishery – which stretches from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to the west end of Puget Island — opened for Chinook retention Aug. 1, and was originally slated to close Sept. 8. With catch and impact rates significantly higher than expected, managers announced that the salmon fishery would switch to coho-only ahead of the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
“The holiday weekend is always a busy time at this popular fishery, and these modifications are needed to help ensure Buoy 10 and other salmon fishing opportunities can remain open,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Chinook catches were more than double the pre-season expectation since the fishery switched to non-mark selective regulations on Aug. 25, and we needed to take quick action to ensure we’re meeting our conservation goals for 2022.”
In particular, that means limiting further impacts on wild lower river “tule” Chinook, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Hatchery coho retention remains open, with a minimum size of 16 inches and a daily limit of two fish. Anglers must release all salmon other than hatchery coho.
Chinook salmon retention on the Columbia River from Buoy 10 to west Puget Island to close after Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Chinook salmon retention on the Columbia River from the Buoy 10 line upstream to the western (downstream) end of Puget Island will close effective 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 30.
State fishery managers from Oregon and Washington announced the decision today after evaluating Chinook catches and catch rates since the non-mark-selective fishery began Aug. 25. Chinook catches were more than double what was expected and have used up the lower river natural tule Chinook impacts available for the Chinook-directed fishery. This ESA-listed stock is managed under strict harvest guidelines and a portion of the allowed impacts are allocated to the lower Columbia River recreational fisheries (including sub-allocations to the Buoy 10, middle river, and Warrior Rock to Bonneville areas).
Hatchery coho retention remains open in the Buoy 10 fishery with a daily adult bag limit of two hatchery coho, which increases to three hatchery coho on Sept. 8. Retention of steelhead in the Buoy 10 fishery remains closed until Nov. 1.
“The forecast is for 684,000 coho to return to the Columbia this year, so we encourage anglers to focus their effort and attention on them and minimize their handling of Chinook so that we can keep the coho season open as currently planned,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program Manager.
Through Aug. 28, an estimated 26,000 Chinook and 5,000 hatchery coho were kept from 67,800 angler trips in the Buoy 10 fishery. Released estimates include 20,300 Chinook, 3,200 coho, and 70 steelhead. Through Aug. 28, there have been 29,800 total Chinook mortalities compared to the preseason expectation of 32,850 for the full season. Additional Chinook release mortalities will continue to accrue during the coho fishery.