With an in-season forecast this week increasing the Columbia River fall chinook salmon run by 13 percent, Oregon and Washington are opening fall chinook angling Saturday, Sept. 19, one week earlier than preseason fishery plans.
Although there has been no change in expected returns, passage of fall chinook at Bonneville is sufficient to reopen recreational angling opportunities for the fish from Buoy 10 to the Oregon and Washington border, according to the two-state Columbia River Compact at a hearing Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Oregon and Washington Columbia River fisheries managers doubled the bag limit for salmon at the popular Buoy 10 fishery from one coho to two salmon, one of which can be a chinook, Sept. 5 and 6, just in time for the Labor Day weekend.
Oregon and Washington Thursday shut down commercial gillnetting for fall chinook salmon on the mainstem Columbia River, rescinding the last of the seven 12-hour gillnet periods approved last month.
With the run of summer steelhead expected to return to the Snake River basin at about 40 percent of the 10-year average, the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting Thursday, Aug. 20, reduced the number of the fish anglers in the state can keep when fishing the Salmon, Little Salmon and Snake rivers. Steelhead angling opens on those rivers Sept. 1.
With just one to two endangered Snake River sockeye salmon passing Lower Granite Dam daily, the end of the run seems nearly complete.
A variety of changes at Columbia and Snake river dams to boost passage of Pacific lamprey is resulting in incremental improvements, according to a presentation this week at a Northwest Power and Conservation Council meeting.
The first two sockeye salmon completed their 900 mile journey through eight Columbia and Snake river dams and up the Salmon River, climbing 6,500 feet in elevation and arriving in Idaho’s Sawtooth Basin over the weekend.
A five-year plan for non-recurring maintenance needs and infrastructure fixes at aging 35-to-40-year-old Snake River hatcheries shows a budget that is $5 million short, raising the question of who pays, according to managers and operators at the hatcheries who laid out their funding needs at the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee meeting Tuesday, July 14.