Columbia River scheduled to open for spring Chinook on Tuesday
April 30, 2020
The Columbia River spring Chinook fishery is scheduled to open for four days through mid-May, state fishery managers announced today.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) jointly manage the river through the Columbia River Compact process, which met Friday and laid out proposed fisheries for spring Chinook and sockeye.
Anglers will be able to fish for spring Chinook on the river both above and below Bonneville Dam on May 5, 7, 9, and 13. Sockeye retention will open on a portion of the lower river beginning May 16, in conjunction with the steelhead opener.
The Columbia River has been closed to fishing since March 25, when Washington enacted a statewide fishing closure to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Oregon also closed the river to salmon and steelhead fishing to remain concurrent with Washington's rules. Many fisheries will reopen across Washington on May 5.
Since this opening is near the peak of the run and fishing conditions are good, managers will monitor catches daily, and adjust the schedule if catches are projected to exceed allowable quotas.
"We're optimistic that this reopening has come just in time for anglers," said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW Columbia River fishery manager. "The spring Chinook run often peaks in the first weeks of May, which means fishing could be good, but given this year's low forecast, it also means we'll have to keep an especially close eye on the run to make sure we're meeting our goals for the numbers of fish making their way upriver."
Additional details for the upcoming Chinook fisheries include:
Below Bonneville: Open for Chinook May 5, 7, 9, and 13 for boat and bank angling from Warrior Rock line upstream to Beacon Rock, plus bank-only angling from Beacon Rock upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline.
Above Bonneville: Open for Chinook May 5, 7, 9, and 13 from the Tower Island power lines (approximately 6 miles below The Dalles Dam) upstream to Hwy 730 at the Oregon/Washington border, plus the Oregon and Washington banks between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines.
The daily limit is 6 hatchery salmonids, including no more than 2 adults, of which no more than 1 may be an adult Chinook. Release all wild salmon and wild steelhead. Shad can also be retained.