Hatchery Coho Reopening On More Of Lower Columbia; 4 More Keeper …

THE FOLLOWING ARE PRESS RELEASES FROM THE OREGON AND WASHINGTON DEPARTMENTS OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Effective Sept. 17, the Columbia River will reopen to hatchery coho retention from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to the Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island line, fishery managers from Oregon and Washington decided today.

COLUMBIA HATCHERY COHO DON’T BITE AS WELL ON THE LOWER RIVER AS THEY DO AT BUOY 10, BUT THEY CAN BE TROLLED UP. CHRIS SPENCER SHOWS OFF ONE HE CAUGHT IN CARROLLS SLOUGH DURING A PAST SEASON. (CHRIS SPENCER)

The adult bag limit is two hatchery coho. All Chinook must be released and steelhead may not retained until Nov. 1. All other previously adopted regulations remain in effect.

Salmon fishing from Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Bonneville Dam closed earlier this month due to higher-than-expected impacts on lower Columbia River natural origin tule fall Chinook which are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on a review of available information which included impacts accrued in ocean fisheries, fishery managers reopened the area from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam on Sept. 11 to Chinook and hatchery coho.  Although ESA-listed Snake River fall Chinook have become constraining, managers are comfortable reopening this river section to coho retention, which are returning in good numbers.

Also today, four additional sturgeon retention days were added in the mainstem Columbia from the Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam, including the Cowlitz River. Anglers can now retain white sturgeon in this area on Saturday, Sept. 18, Sunday Sept. 19, Wednesday Sept. 22, Saturday Sept. 25, and Wednesday Sept. 29.

Last Saturday, anglers harvested an estimated 347 legal-sized sturgeon which is less than expected, allowing additional days to be added. The harvest guideline for this fishery is 1,230 white sturgeon.

The daily bag limit is one legal-sized white sturgeon, with a statewide annual bag limit of two fish. Legal-size white sturgeon are those measuring a minimum of 44 inches and a maximum of 50 inches fork length, which is measured in a straight line under the fish from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal (tail) fin with the fish laying on a flat surface. Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited and single point barbless hooks are required when angling for sturgeon.

Always check the latest Columbia River regulations before fishing by visiting https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone

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Anglers will be able to catch and keep sturgeon on a section of the lower Columbia River for four more days in September, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced today.

In addition to the previously announced openings on Sept. 11 and 18, anglers will be able to retain sturgeon on the Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam (including the Cowlitz River) on Sept. 19, 22, 25, and 29.

Columbia River fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended the additional dates after the first opening on Sept. 11 saw lower-than-expected catches of legal sturgeon.

Anglers kept an estimated 347 legal-size fish during that opener, out of a harvest guideline of 1,230.

“Catches were slower than expected on the first day of the sturgeon fishery, and these extra days should offer anglers some good opportunities to reel in one of these remarkable fish,” said Laura Heironimus, sturgeon lead with WDFW. “Catches tend to slow down as the month goes on, so we’re confident these additional days will maximize opportunity while keeping us within our quota.”

Anglers may retain only white sturgeon measuring 44 to 50 inches from the tip of their nose to the fork in their tail (“fork length”). Catch limits during the season are one legal-size white sturgeon per day and two legal-size fish per year. Only one single-point, barbless hook is allowed when fishing for sturgeon. Anglers may not fish for or retain green sturgeon, which is a federally protected species.

Anglers are encouraged to check WDFW’s emergency rules at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ for potential changes to this and other fisheries, and to check the 2021-22 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations for additional permanent rules.