commercial gillnetters and sports anglers will all begin fishing in August as
the two-state Columbia River Compact met this week to set fishing times through
the fall season that begins August 1.
613,840 fall chinook are forecasted to return to the Columbia River, 96 percent
of 2016’s actual return of 642,400 fish and 84 percent of the 10-year average
(2007 – 2016). Of those, nearly 403,600 upriver chinook will pass Bonneville
Dam, a run that is typically half done by September 9.
forecast for coho salmon returning to the Columbia River is 319,300 fish, 93
percent of the 5-year average (2012 – 2016) of 344,500 fish. That includes an
early run of 196,800 and a late run of 122,500. About 97,400 will pass
Bonneville Dam this year, according to Fall Fact Sheet No. 1 prepared by the
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (https://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/?auth
anglers have been fishing for summer chinook since July 7 from the
Astoria-Megler Bridge to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco at the
a decision that had been made earlier in the year, beginning Tuesday, August 1,
they will fish for fall chinook from Tongue Point upstream to Warrior Rock near
St. Helens, Oregon, until September 7 for any chinook, but the area will only
be open for retention of hatchery chinook Sept. 8 - 14.
Warrior Rock upstream to Hwy. 395, chinook retention will be open all fall with
a two fish/two chinook daily adult bag limit.
opening August 1 for chinook retention is the popular Buoy 10 fishery at the
Columbia River mouth. It is expected to remain open through September 4, but
will be closed for chinook retention Sept. 5 – 30 (Columbia River regulation
updates are at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp
and at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/).
recreational angling for fall chinook opens in the Columbia River, the
departments of fish and wildlife in Oregon and Idaho are closing chinook
fishing in the Snake River canyon downstream of Idaho Power’s Hells Canyon Dam
at sundown, Sunday, July 30. Idaho is also closing to chinook fishing the
Little Salmon and Upper Salmon rivers on the same day because harvest
objectives are being met or because the run has ended. The Idaho Fish and Game
Commission is considering a fall chinook fishery today, July 27. See https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/idahos-chinook-salmon-seasons-end-july-30 for more
Compact at its Tuesday, July 27 meeting in Ridgefield, Washington, also set
Treaty Indian commercial setline fishing for sturgeon in the John Day pool, commercial
platform hook and line fishing for salmon, Yakama Nation commercial fishing in
Columbia River tributaries and commercial platform and hook and line fishing
for areas downstream of Bonneville Dam.
addition, the Compact approved fall gillnetting in select areas of the lower
Columbia River estuary.
chinook and coho salmon runs are somewhat below average this year, upriver
summer steelhead are arriving in record low numbers. The total A-Index run of
steelhead (generally the smaller of the A- and B-index runs at less than 78
centimeters – about 31 inches in length, called fork length – and arriving
earlier) is expected to be 54 percent of the 5-year average. The B-Index run of
fish (larger than 78 cm and later arriving) is expected in numbers that are
just 25 percent of the 5-year average.
Moscowitz, Executive Director of The Conservation Angler, said the use of the
5-year average for steelhead is misleading. The A-run summer steelhead, he
said, is just 18.3 percent of the 10-year average, whereas the 5-year average
is showing that the current run is 54 percent of average. That’s a big
difference, he said, opposing the Tribal hook and line fishery downstream of
Jeff Whisler of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and a member of the
U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which provides fishery managers
with in-season forecasts, said that the 5-year average gives a more recent look
at the run, although TAC as well as ODFW look at both 5- and 10-year averages
when determining run sizes and regulations.
119,400 A- and B-run steelhead are forecasted to pass Bonneville Dam, including
41,500 unclipped fish (34,100 wild). The 41,500 unclipped to 34,100 wild fish
ratio reflects the typical proportion of unclipped hatchery fish in the run,
said Stuart Ellis of CRITFC and the TAC lead this year.
of steelhead at Bonneville Dam during July 1-25 total 10,418 fish, which is
much less than expected (about 20,800) and is the lowest cumulative passage
since 1943,” the Fact Sheet says. “Passage at Bonneville Dam (July-October) is
typically 50 percent complete by August 13. The count of unclipped steelhead
from July 1 - 25 totals 6,025 which is the lowest cumulative count of unclipped
fish since 1995.”
in July is usually just A-run fish. B-run fish usually show up around the end
of August and primarily are returning to the Snake River. A-run fish return to
tributaries throughout the Columbia and Snake river basins, the Fact Sheet
on steelhead retention in the Columbia River basin is the biggest change for
the 2017 fall season, according to ODFW.
restrictions include area-specific, 1-2 month steelhead retention closures and
a one steelhead bag limit when retention is allowed, including a series of
rolling closures that progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce
the take of both hatchery and wild fish.
and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife together set the rolling
steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released as follows:
Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam during Aug. 1-31
The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam during Sept. 1-30
John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam during Sept. 1 - Oct. 31
McNary Dam upstream to Hwy. 395 during Oct. 1 – Nov. 30
angling is also prohibited except for registered anglers targeting Northern
CBB, June 16, 2017, “States Set Schedule Of Angling Closures Aimed At
Protecting Low Numbers Of Wild Steelhead,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439106.aspx)
will again begin to look at updating run sizes when it meets August 7. It will
meet weekly through the fall season, Ellis said.
to the Fact Sheet fall chinook are made up of six management components: some
13,700 select area brights (SAB) are forecasted to enter the river, lower river
hatchery (LRH) are forecasted at 98,750, lower river wild (LRW) at13,610,
Bonneville pool hatchery (BPH) at 164,390, upriver bright (URB) at 275,210,
including 12,400 Snake River wild, and mid-Columbia bright (MCB). The MCB
component is comprised of Bonneville upriver bright (BUB) forecasted at 3,470,
pool upriver bright (PUB) at 44,490, and lower river brights (LRB) at 220.
URB, BPH, and PUB chinook are headed to areas upstream of Bonneville Dam -- the
upriver run. Lower river chinook stocks are SAB, LRH, LRW, LRB, and BUB. The
LRH and BPH stocks are referred to as tules and the LRW, SAB, URB, and MCB
stocks are brights.
Compact approved four tribal fisheries:
Indian commercial sturgeon setline for 6 am Tuesday, Aug. 1, to 6 pm, Saturday
Aug. 12 in the John Day pool. Allowable remaining catch of 43 inch to 54 inch
white sturgeon is 136 fish.
fishery – Zone 6 commercial platform and hook and line for 12:01 am, Aug. 1, to
6 pm, Oct. 31.
Nation commercial fisheries – Zone 6 tributaries for 12:01 am, Aug. 1, to 6 pm,
Dec. 31 at Drano Lake and the Klickitat River.
fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam: commercial platform and hook and line for
12:01 am, Aug. 1, to 11:59 pm, Oct. 31.
gillnet off-channel select area fisheries approved by the Compact this week
River, Washington: Monday through Thursday nights, 7 pm to 7 am, Aug. 21 -
Sept. 1; Monday through Friday nights, 6 pm to 9 am, Sept. 4 – 23; and Monday
through Thursday nights, 7 pm to 7 am, Sept. 25 - Oct. 13.
Slough/Knappa Slough, Oregon: Monday and Wednesday nights, 7 pm to 7 am, Aug.
28 – 31; Monday through Thursday nights, 7 pm to 7 am, Sept. 4 - 8, and 6 pm to
10 am, Sept. 8 - Oct. 27.
Point/South Channel: Monday and Wednesday nights, 7 pm to 7 am, Aug. 28 - 31;
Monday through Thursday nights, 7 pm to 7 am, Sept. 4 – 8 and 6 pm to 10 am,
Sept. 8 – 27.
Bay: 7 pm Tuesday to 7 am Thursday weekly Aug. 1 – 24; Monday through
Wednesday, 7 pm to 7 am, Aug. 28 – 31; and 7 pm Monday, Sept. 4 to noon
Tuesday, Oct. 31.
Compact’s July 27 Columbia River Action Notice is at https://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=489709&part=2.
July 21, 2017, “Summer Chinook, Sockeye Runs Downgraded; Treaty Commercial
Fishery Extended,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439313.aspx
--CBB, July 14, 2017, “Harvest Managers
Approve More Tribal Fishing, Concerns Expressed Over Low Sockeye, Summer
July 7, 2017, “Summer Chinook Fishing Resumes Below Bonneville, Wild Summer
Steelhead Passage To Date Very Low,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439220.aspx