Fishery managers have announced 2013 summer and fall salmon and steelhead fishing seasons on the Columbia River.
The seasons are based on results of this year’s Pacific Fishery Management Councils process including a series of public meetings, referred to as North of Falcon, in which fishery managers from several jurisdictions convene to plan salmon fisheries on the Columbia River and parts of the ocean off the Oregon and Washington coasts.
In general, anglers can expect seasons similar to those in 2012.
This year’s projected return of summer chinook is 73,500 fish, which compares to an actual return of 58,000 fish in 2012. The 2013 retention season for summer chinook and sockeye salmon on the lower Columbia is currently scheduled to run from June 16 through June 30.
The fall season begins Aug. 1, and includes the popular Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria and the fall “upriver bright” season in the main stem Columbia. Managers are estimating a total fall chinook return of 677,900 fish, including a record number of upriver bright fish. If the total run returns as projected, it would be the largest fall chinook run since 2004. While those numbers are up over 2012, the projected return of tule salmon is about the same as last year. That return will constrain the fishery to seasons similar to those in 2012.
Coho numbers also look to be up. Based on predicted ocean abundances, managers expect coho returns to the Columbia River to be significantly higher than the 2012 return of 135,000 fish.
Here is a summary of 2013 summer and fall salmon regulations for the Columbia River:
-- Summer chinook and sockeye
Retention of sockeye and adipose fin-clipped adult summer chinook (longer than 24-inches) allowed:
June 16 – June 30from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam;
June 16 – July 31 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border.
Retention of adipose fin-clipped jack summer chinook (12 to 24-inches long) allowed June 16 – July 31 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the OR/WA border.
The combined daily bag limit is two adults and five jacks. All sockeye are considered adults in the daily limit.
-- Summer steelhead
Retention allowed per permanent regulations.
-- Buoy 10
Retention of adult adipose fin-clipped coho (longer than 16-inches) and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug. 1 – Dec. 31.
Retention of adult chinook (longer than 24-inches) allowed during Aug. 1-Sept. 1** and Oct. 1-Dec. 31.
Retention of adipose fin-clipped only chinook may be possible after the Sept. 1 closing.
The combined daily bag limit is two adults, only one of which may be a chinook. Jacks may not be retained between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30 under permanent rules.
All other permanent rules apply.
-- Lower Columbia (Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Bonneville Dam).
Retention of adipose fin-clipped coho and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug. 1 – Dec. 31.
Retention of chinook allowed:
Aug. 1 – Sept. 12** and Oct. 1-Dec. 31 from the Rocky Point-Tongue Point line upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island. During Sept. 6-12, only adipose fin-clipped chinook may be retained.
Aug. 1 – Dec. 31** from a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island, upstream to Bonneville Dam.
The combined daily bag limit is two adults (only one of which may be a chinook) and five jack salmon.
-- Bonneville Dam upstream to the OR/WA border
Retention of chinook, coho, and adipose fin-clipped steelhead allowed Aug. 1 – Dec. 31**.
The combined daily bag limit is two adults and five jack salmon.
All coho retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be adipose fin-clipped.