For the first time in recent history, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will open the upper Snake River for fall chinook harvest on Sept. 1.
The chinook fishery will open to sport fishing seven days a week concurrent with the annual Hells Canyon steelhead fishery. The river will be open from the Oregon / Washington border to below Hells Canyon Dam and will remain open until Oct. 31, or until a closure is announced.
The daily bag limit is two adipose fin-clipped fall chinook salmon per day, only one of which can be an adult salmon longer than 24 inches. Only barbless hooks may be used. Anglers are reminded to consult the 2010 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for other applicable regulations.
Fishery managers predict more than 60,000 fall chinook salmon will pass Lower Granite Dam this year. This is more fish than needed for hatchery production needs and thus will be available for sport harvest.
Hells Canyon Dam is the farthest Snake River fall chinook will travel in Oregon, having migrated over 800 miles and passing eight mainstem dams.
"We've had a great spring chinook season, a huge steelhead return is on its way and now there's a new opportunity to retain fall chinook,"said Jeff Yanke, ODFW district fish biologist in Enterprise. "We encourage anglers to take advantage of the excellent fall fishing in Hell's Canyon."