Columbia Springer Limit Raised, Estuary Sturgeon Days Added
THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE OREGON AND WASHINGTON DEPARTMENTS OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Columbia River Chinook bag limit increased, more fishing days above Bonneville starting June 4
CLACKAMAS, Ore.—Following another run upgrade, fishery managers from Oregon and Washington adopted additional fishing opportunity for spring Chinook salmon in the mainstem Columbia River from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line to the Oregon/Washington state line upstream of McNary Dam and increased the bag limit for Chinook to up to two adults per day.
Adult Chinook passage at Bonneville Dam through June 1 totals 149,031 fish, which is 129 percent of the 10-year (2012-21) average cumulative count and 210 percent of the 5-year (2017-21) average for this date. The forecast was recently upgraded to 192,900 adults at the Columbia River mouth compared to the pre-season forecast of 122,900 adults and up from 180,000 forecast in mid-May.
The following seasons and bag limits were adopted today:
Below Bonneville Dam
Tomorrow, June 3, the bag limit remains two adult hatchery salmonids of which only one may be a Chinook, and the boat fishing deadline is Beacon Rock.
Beginning Saturday, June 4, the daily bag limit increases to include up to two adult hatchery Chinook and the boat angling deadline expands to the permanent boat angling boundary below Bonneville Dam. Fishery managers had previously extended the recreational fishery through the end of the spring management period during a meeting held May 18. Below is a summary of the upcoming season with new bag limit and open area.
- Season: June 4-15
- Bag limit: Two adult hatchery salmonids (Chinook or steelhead) per day
- Open area: Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline
Above Bonneville Dam (12 retention days added)
- Season: Saturday, June 4 through Wednesday, June 15
- Bag limit: Two adult hatchery salmonids (Chinook or steelhead) per day
- Open Area: Tower Island power lines (approximately six miles below The Dalles Dam) upstream to Oregon/Washington border, plus the Oregon and Washington banks between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines
Columbia River spring Chinook salmon seasons are driven by balancing opportunity with Endangered Species Act limitations, provisions in the management agreement between the states and Columbia River Treaty Tribes that specify the total harvest guideline of upriver-origin spring Chinook, and guidance from the Oregon and Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissions regarding the allocation of spring Chinook among the non-treaty fisheries.
Fishery managers will monitor these fisheries and may consider further hearings to assess the latest information on catch rates to determine if additional fishery management actions are needed.ODFW recently redesigned its page for in-season regulation changes. Anglers should always visit the Recreation Report Fishing Report for their zone and then click on the Regulation Updates tab for the latest regulations https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone
States adopt two more days for lower Columbia River estuary sturgeon retention (June 8 and 11)
CLACKAMAS, Ore.—Fishery managers added two sturgeon retention days in the lower Columbia River estuary yesterday during a joint state hearing.
Catch and effort for sturgeon has been lower than pre-season expectations so there are still fish available in the catch guideline for this fishery. The following days were added:
- Season: Wednesday, June 8 and Saturday, June 11 (2 days)
- Bag limit: One white sturgeon per day (two per year)
- Area: Mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna Powerlines downstream to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay, and all adjacent Washington tributaries
- Legal size: 44-inch minimum and 50-inch maximum fork length (fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish)
- Closure after 2 p.m.: Sturgeon angling (including catch and release) is prohibited after 2 p.m. on days when retention is open
“We’re happy to be able to provide this additional opportunity,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Columbia River Program Manager. “But with the volatility of estuary catch rates in June, we do not expect to add additional retention days downstream of Wauna Powerlines after these openers.”
ODFW recently redesigned its page for in-season regulation changes. Anglers should always visit the Recreation Report Fishing Report for their zone and then click on the Regulation Updates tab for this information https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone
Spring Chinook and sturgeon fishing days added on Columbia River; Chinook limit increased
OLYMPIA – With returns continuing to come in above expectations, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon on Thursday agreed to add more spring Chinook fishing days above Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, and increase the daily spring Chinook limit on the portion of river below Bonneville from June 4-15.
Managers also agreed to open boat fishing from Beacon Rock to Bonneville — a section previously only open for bank angling. Two additional days were also added to the estuary sturgeon retention fishery.
The spring Chinook forecast was increased Tuesday to 192,900 fish, up from the pre-season forecast of 122,900. Through June 1, 149,031 fish had passed Bonneville Dam, which is more than double the recent five-year average for that date.
“It’s heartening to see a stronger return of spring Chinook this year,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fisheries manager with WDFW. “We’ve looked carefully at catch so far, and feel comfortable offering additional days above Bonneville, while expanding opportunity below the dam as well. As always, we’ll continue to adaptively manage this fishery, but we’re optimistic these openings will help carry us straight into the summer season.”
The section of river above Bonneville from the Tower Island power lines upstream to the Washington/Oregon border will open Saturday, June 4 through Wednesday June 15, with a daily limit of two hatchery Chinook or hatchery steelhead, or one of each.
The section of the Columbia below Bonneville was already open through June 15, but boat angling from Beacon Rock to the Bonneville Dam deadline will now be allowed on those dates, and anglers may keep up to two adult hatchery Chinook as part of their daily limit. Anglers should be aware of the river conditions and use extreme caution when fishing this section of the river.
In addition to the spring Chinook fishery, managers agreed to add two days – Wednesday, June 8 and Saturday, June 11 – to the sturgeon retention fishery from the Columbia River mouth at Buoy 10 to the Wauna Powerlines. All previous regulations remain in effect, including a 2 p.m. closure to all sturgeon fishing on retention days.
For more information on these and other fishing rule changes, visit WDFW’s emergency regulations page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/, and see permanent rules at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.
The summer Chinook season is expected to run June 16 through June 22 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam. Upstream of Bonneville Dam to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco is scheduled to open June 16 through July 31.