CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Chinook salmon fishing will reopen on the lower Columbia River downstream of the Lewis River from Oct. 15 through the end of the year.
In a joint hearing this week, the Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife decided to reopen recreational chinook salmon fishing on the Columbia from Buoy 10 upstream approximately 88 miles to the mouth of the Lewis River.
This section had been closed for chinook since Sept. 12 to reduce impacts to federally-listed wild “tule”-stock chinook salmon destined for several lower Columbia River tributaries. Tules are a stock of chinook that spawn primarily in the lower Columbia tributaries. They exhibit a different life-history than “bright”-stock fall chinook, which typically spawn later and migrate farther up the Columbia.
“The tule chinook have moved into the tributaries, so we are able to reopen this area to allow fishing access to other chinook stocks,” said Chris Kern, assistant fisheries manager for ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program. “The chinook run is definitely winding down and we don’t expect many to be caught from here on out but there are still some upriver brights available.”
Under the rule change, the entire Columbia is open to chinook, coho and steelhead fishing through Dec. 31. The daily bag limit is two adult salmon and steelhead in any combination. Steelhead must be adipose fin-clipped in order to be retained, as must coho in all areas downstream of the Hood River. Chinook may be retained whether they are fin-clipped or not.
“Essentially, this change will bring the entire Columbia River back under permanent Oregon fishing regulations for salmon and steelhead, as outlined in the 2010 fishing pamphlet,” said Kern.