With plenty of fish available in the quotas, Columbia spring Chinook managers will mull five-day reopeners starting this Saturday on the lower river and gorge pools during a teleconference early this afternoon.
Staffers from ODFW and WDFW are proposing May 20-24 fisheries with the usual rules, except closed from Buoy 10 to Tongue Point.
“This fishery proposal downstream of Bonneville Dam is expected to handle about 1,900 adult Chinook, including 1,520 kept, and would accrue 1,170 additional upriver mortalities. Projected season total upriver mortalities would be 2,950 or 44% of the current allocation for this fishery,” a fact sheet out ahead of the meeting states.
“This fishery proposal upstream of Bonneville Dam is expected to handle about 250 adult Chinook, including 188 kept, and would accrue 194 additional upriver mortalities. Projected season total upriver mortalities would be 762 or 80% of the current allocation for this fishery,” it adds.
The meeting notice follows this week’s downgrading of the spring run from 198,000 to 139,000 by the US v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee. After a very slow start, though, the return has nearly caught up to the 10-year average and should creep above that mark today.
“Due to uncertainties surrounding both the abundance of upriver spring Chinook and fishery performance, staff is recommending some opportunity now while fish abundance is still high with the possibility to add more opportunity as information becomes available next week,” the fact sheet states.
Final decisions will be made by representatives of state agency directors Curt Melcher and Kelly Susewind.
Correction, 1:54 p.m., May 17, 2023: The staff proposal for the Lower Columbia is for fishing from Tongue Point to Bonneville, not the “usual rules” of Buoy 10 to the dam, as previously incorrectly stated.