Lower Columbia salmon managers reopened Chinook retention at Buoy 10 starting tomorrow, September 8, a day earlier than their staffers initially proposed.
There are plenty of tule and Snake River wild Chinook impacts available for the big river up to the west Puget Island line to do so, though king catches during the ongoing hatchery coho fishery are expected to be modest.
ODFW and WDFW staffers had proposed a Saturday reopener, but during public comment Hammond bait shop opener Jim Fowler wondered why wait till the weekend when Buoy 10 anglers are currently having to release Chinook while they’re grinding trying to retain hatchery coho.
That resonated with Tucker Jones and Charlene Hurst, who represent ODFW and WDFW directors during Columbia River Compact calls, and after being assured that the rule changes could work through both agencies’ processes fast enough today and impacts would be “negligible,” they moved the reopener up a day.
Daily limit is three salmon, but only one Chinook and only hatchery coho may be retained.
It wasn’t proposed for a reopener, but as for the waters from the Puget Island line up to Warrior Rock, at the mouths of the Lewis River and Multnomah Channel, Chinook impacts are currently in “the danger zone,” according to WDFW’s Ryan Lothrop.
Still, this morning’s fact sheet states, “Staff will review catch estimates and Chinook stock composition as fisheries progress and will determine if additional opportunities exist within current management guidelines.”
THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Chinook retention reopens at Buoy 10 on Sept. 8
Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington added additional Chinook fishing opportunity for the popular Buoy 10 fishery on the Columbia River during a joint-state hearing today.
The Buoy 10 season has been adjusted as follows and now includes retention of any Chinook along with hatchery coho.
· Season: Sept. 8-Dec. 31
· Area: Mainstem Columbia River from the Buoy 10 line upstream to the west Puget Island line
· Species: Chinook and hatchery coho
· Daily adult bag limit: Three salmon, of which only one may be a Chinook. All other relevant previously adopted and permanent regulations are in effect.
Passage of adult fall Chinook at Bonneville Dam was 251,799 adult-sized fish as of Sept. 6, the third highest cumulative count in the last 10 years. An initial in-season run update may be available on Sept. 11. The preseason forecast was for 554,000 adult fall Chinook to the mouth of the Columbia River with 374,000 passing Bonneville Dam.
Chinook handle in the Buoy 10 fishery is expected to decline over the remainder of the year so there is little risk of this fishery going over impact limits to ESA-listed Chinook stocks or not meeting other management guidelines despite the added opportunity.
Anglers were restricted to adipose fin-clipped Chinook only during the initial Chinook-retention period for the 2023 Buoy 10 fishery (Aug. 1-Sept. 4; with a few closed days during the season). The more restrictive retention regulations limited impacts to ESA-listed stocks and allowed the fishery to remain open under its planned season structure, avoiding an early emergency closure like the one that occurred last year.
Fishery managers are hopeful that recreational Chinook fisheries upstream of west Puget Island will continue through their original planned dates. More opportunity may be added in these areas after a run-update if there are sufficient ESA limits to allow it.