THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Editor’s note: ODFW issued a corrected press release after it missed the hatchery steelhead reopener November 1 and included last week’s fall Chinook runsize update rather than this week’s.
Salmon fishing will reopen from west Puget Island to Warrior Rock and remain open from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam effective Sept. 22, meaning the entire mainstem below Bonneville will be open to salmon fishing through the end of the year, fishery managers from Oregon and Washington decided today during a joint state hearing.
Seasons and regulations adopted today are as follows:
Area: West Puget Island line upstream to Bonneville Dam
Season: Sept. 22 through Dec. 31
Species: Chinook and hatchery coho
Bag limit: Two salmon, only one may be a Chinook . Hatchery steelhead may also be taken Nov. 1-Dec. 31 as part of daily salmon bag limit.
All other relevant regulations for this area remain in effect.
Chinook retention from Buoy 10 to west Puget Island reopened Sept. 8 and remains open thru Dec. 31.
To date, the 2023 run of adult fall Chinook that started Aug. 1 is a strong return, tracking above the 5- and 10-year averages, and the peak count of 41,510 on Sept. 1 is the fifth highest on record. Passage of fall Chinook at Bonneville Dam through Sept. 19 totals 454,249 adult-sized fish and 48,454 jack sized fish.
Chinook catch is projected to be about 9,300 adults for the remainder of the fishery below Bonneville Dam and is expected to remain within available ESA impact limits. Most fall Chinook have already passed Bonneville Dam by Sept. 19 (passage is typically 79 percent complete based on the 10-year average).
This year’s season structure, including a mark-selective fishery at Buoy 10, helped limit ESA impacts early in the season. That combined with the declining abundance of fall Chinook , the size of the run, recent fishery performance and catch projections allow the fishery to be extended through the end of the year.
Earlier this week, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) updated the run size expectation for adult fall Chinook to the mouth of the Columbia River to703,800 fish, higher than the pre-season forecast of 554,000.