Columbia Gorge Pools Spring Chinook Fishery To Close

Editor’s note: Updated 12:37 p.m., April 29, 2024, at bottom with WDFW’s press release.

Columbia salmon managers this morning announced that the mainstem Columbia Gorge pools from Bonneville Dam to the Washington-Oregon border east of McNary Dam will close to salmon and steelhead fishing at the end of today as the allocation of upriver-bound springers has been met.

“It’s unfortunate we need to close early, but necessary as the fishing has been better than expected, and the fishery has met its allocation for now,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Columbia River program manager, in a press release out early this morning.

The quota was 558 upriver mortalities, under which the fishery had been scheduled to run through May 2. The quota is a function of this year’s forecast, the 30 percent forecast buffer, and Washington and Oregon allocation policies, among other factors, and was set in late February.

The rule change does not affect the Wind River or Drano Lake fisheries.

Ahead of next month’s runsize update, managers and anglers will now be closely watching the Bonneville spring Chinook count, which sits at 17,212 through Sunday, about 8,000 fish behind the 10-year average but well in front of last year at this same time.

“This area and the fishery below Bonneville Dam may reopen later in spring, depending on the run size and available allocations which we will reassess in the first few weeks of May,” Jones stated.


With the fishery expected to have already met its allowable catch, recreational spring Chinook fishing on the Columbia River mainstem from Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington border will close beginning Tuesday, April 30, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have announced.

While originally scheduled to run through May 2, fishery managers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that catches of upriver spring Chinook have already been met for the Columbia River section that runs from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Washington/Oregon border.

“While it’s disappointing to close earlier than anticipated, our foremost priority is to responsibly manage the upriver spring Chinook fishery,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River Fishery Manager with WDFW. “Implementing this necessary measure ensures we remain within our harvest constraints and are able to consider additional fisheries in the future.”

The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which forecasts and monitors salmon and steelhead returns to the Columbia River, has not yet provided a run-size update on the upriver spring Chinook run. That update typically occurs in mid-May.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor the run and assess the potential for additional fishing opportunities. Spring Chinook fishing remains open in Drano Lake, Wind River, and several Columbia River tributaries below Bonneville Dam.