CLACKAMAS, Ore.—Portions of the mainstem Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam are closing to all salmon fishing due to higher than anticipated catch rates of ESA-listed lower river tule Chinook.
Effective Saturday, Sept. 4 at 12:01 a.m., angling for, and retention of salmon and steelhead is closed from Tongue Point to Warrior Rock.
Effective Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 12:01 a.m., angling for, and retention of salmon and steelhead is closed from Warrior Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam.
“It’s extremely disappointing that we have to close these areas down. Fishing has been quite good, but unfortunately along with that came using up the available tule Chinook allocation for these areas,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW Columbia River Manager. “Conservation is our first responsibility, and we have to do what we can to ensure we do not adversely impact this listed stock.”
“Coho and upriver fall Chinook are doing well and are a bright spot for Columbia River runs this year,” Jones continued. “We will continue to monitor and update fish runs, and, if possible, will strive to reopen these areas for salmon fishing as soon as we can.”
ODFW closed Chinook retention at Buoy 10 last week due to impacts on tule Chinook in that fishery. Catch rates in the Tongue Point to Warrior Rock reach, including near the mouth of the Cowlitz River, have been much higher than anticipated, using up the available allocation for these areas.
The salmon fishing closure will also provide additional protection for upriver summer steelhead that are returning at historically low levels.
Coho fishing remains open from Buoy 10 to Tongue Point and is scheduled to go to a 3 hatchery coho daily bag limit effective Tuesday, Sept. 7.
White sturgeon retention will also open upstream of Wauna Powerlines on two Saturdays this month, Sept 11 and Sept. 18.