CLACKAMAS, Ore.—Chinook salmon retention on the Columbia River from the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line will close effective Friday, Aug. 27.
State fishery managers from Oregon and Washington made the decision during a Joint State meeting today based on higher-than-expected catch rates and mortality of lower river natural tule Chinook. This ESA-listed stock is managed under strict harvest guidelines and a portion of the allowed impacts was allocated to the Buoy 10 fishery.
Hatchery coho retention remains open in the Buoy 10 fishery (Buoy 10 to Tongue Point/Rocky Point line) with a daily adult bag limit of two hatchery coho, which increases to three hatchery coho on Sept. 7. Retention of steelhead in the Buoy 10 fishery remains closed.
“There are a lot of coho out there, so we encourage anglers to focus their effort and attention on them and minimize their handling of Chinook so that we can keep the coho season open,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW Columbia River Manager. “With passage of upriver summer steelhead at Bonneville Dam at its lowest since counts began, anglers should also do all they can to avoid catching steelhead.”
Chinook retention for the fall Buoy 10 fishery opened Aug. 1 and was originally scheduled to continue through Sept. 6. However, Chinook catch rates and angler effort have been relatively high since Aug. 11 when the initial 10-day mark selective fishery ended. Environmental conditions may also be playing a role, as higher temperatures upstream may have concentrated Chinook in estuary. The combination of these factors resulted in a Chinook handle that is 62 percent higher than expected for this point in the fishery. In addition to higher overall Chinook handle, the tule Chinook portion of the catch was 38 percent, much higher than the expected preseason rate of 24 percent.
Through Aug. 23, an estimated 17,740 Chinook and 6,245 hatchery coho were kept from 56,370 angler trips. Released estimates include 6,917 Chinook, 5,829 coho, and 93 steelhead.
For the latest on Columbia River regulations, always visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone.
For tips on identifying coho vs Chinook salmon, visit https://myodfw.com/articles/it-coho-or-chinook.