With more Lower Columbia hatchery Chinook being caught at Buoy 10 than expected, state fisheries staffers are recommending that king retention “close as soon as practical” to limit impacts to the stock “and allow the hatchery coho retention fishery to remain open.”
That’s according to a fact sheet out ahead of this morning’s joint ODFW-WDFW hearing at 10 a.m., when agency managers will make a decision for the big river’s fishery between the buoy and the Rocky-Tongue Point line after hearing from biologists, anglers and others.
Chinook retention would close as of Friday, if staffers’ recommendation is approved.
Fishing for kings has been “relatively good,” per the fact sheet.
Through Monday, recreational anglers at the mouth of the Columbia have kept an estimated 17,740 Chinook as well as 6,245 hatchery coho out of 56,370 angler trips, and released 6,917 kings, 5,829 silvers and 93 steelhead.
“Handle of Chinook is 62 percent higher than expected at this point of the fishery,” the fact sheet states.
Per coded wire tags recovered from caught fish, lower river hatchery, or LRH, Chinook have comprised 38 percent of the harvest, well above the expectation of 24 percent.
“Cumulative LRH mortalities through August 23 are estimated to be approximately 6,800, or 108 percent of the preseason expectation for the Buoy 10 recreational fishery,” the fact sheet states.
Chinook retention had been scheduled to run through Labor Day Weekend.
Season began with 10 days of hatchery-only king fishing before transitioning to any-Chinook.