Oregon and Washington are opening a five-day recreational summer chinook angling period on the mainstem Columbia River beginning this weekend after an in-season forecast boosted the anticipated number of chinook entering the river by 58 percent over the preseason forecast.
The only reason there are any fisheries in the Columbia River and tributaries right now is due to the abundance of wild sockeye, wild summer chinook and wild steelhead.
The two-state Columbia River Compact this week abruptly shut down recreational fishing for sockeye salmon on the mainstem Columbia River as anglers exceeded the limit on the number of sockeye allowed.
Oregon and Washington denied a staff proposal to open a one-day white sturgeon retention fishery in the Columbia River estuary that would have begun this weekend. Instead, they put off a decision for the estuary fishery – one that usually occurs in the spring – until September.
Columbia River Treaty Tribes will begin commercial gillnetting, along with commercial platform and hook and line fishing, upstream of Bonneville Dam (Zone 6) for summer chinook next week, a plan outlined by the tribes at a two-state Columbia River Compact hearing Monday, June 8. Some platform and hook and line fishing is also planned for downstream of Bonneville.
After a drop in the spring chinook salmon forecast and dire predictions that some hatcheries won’t make broodstock quotas this year, the two-state Columbia River Compact this week shut down mainstem Columbia River fisheries.
An anticipated poor summer run of chinook salmon means no summer chinook fishing this year on the Columbia River mainstem, according to Oregon and Washington. The summer season will be limited to only sockeye and steelhead retention.
Fisheries managers say the health of white sturgeon populations in the Columbia River is healthy, but there is a paucity of detailed abundance data from the Snake River, and that each zone – lower Columbia, Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam and the Snake River –has its own issues.
After a late start for spring chinook angling on the Columbia River due to Covid-19 closures, Oregon and Washington approved a second four-day fishing period in a hearing Wednesday, May 13.