In the wake of this season’s impact-eating fall Chinook bites at Buoy 10 and subsequent Columbia closures, partial reopeners and further shutdowns, ODFW and WDFW fishery managers have posted an angler survey as they consider “ways to reduce the likelihood of this outcome in the future” on the big river.
The survey asks fishermen to rank what kind of season is most important to them, their opinions on a range of possible place-, gear- or management-based restrictions for the estuary, lower river and gorge pools, and whether they prefer a long season for hatchery Chinook or a short one for any king.
There are also spaces to provide other thoughts.
Late August saw phenomenal fishing for wild and hatchery Chinook at Buoy 10 but also much higher than modeled catches of constraining, ESA-listed natural-origin tule fall kings, and that set off a series of inseason modifications by state managers as they tried to stay within fishery management plans based off of preseason forecasts, and tap into plentiful hatchery coho and less-restricted upriver bright returns.
The sport fleet and guide boats found themselves bouncing up and down river with the changes and as frustration mounted.
An unexpected variable was the record run of hatchery tules to the Bonneville Pool, 100,344.
The survey should take 10 minutes and input is being taken into mid-January 2023.