Spring Chinook fishing will open under normal permanent regulations on Oregon’s Umatilla River this year for the first time since 2018.
Due to poor returns, the fishery was closed entirely in 2020 and 2019, and did not open until May 25 last year. Fishery managers are predicting a good return of approximately 3,000 spring Chinook for the Umatilla River this year, which is almost double last year’s actual return.
Regulations for the fishery are as follows:
-Open for adult hatchery Chinook from April 16 to June 10 from the Hwy 730 bridge to Three Mile Falls Dam and from April 16 to June 30 from Three Mile Falls Dam to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation boundary (approximately 0.7 mi above Hwy 11 bridge).
-The catch limit is two adult hatchery salmon per day, and five hatchery jack salmon per day.
-All wild Chinook salmon must be released unharmed.
-One the harvest quota has been reached, the fishery will be closed.
According to Taylor McCroskey, ODFW fish biologist, the Umatilla fishery provides anglers opportunities of catching a spring Chinook both on the bank and also via boat in the first three quarters of a river mile above the Hwy 730 bridge.
McCroskey said the run usually peaks in mid to late May due to the warmer water temperatures in the Umatilla River. Anglers have multiple spots they can access the river and should check landownership prior to fishing to make sure they are allowed access at that location.
Meanwhile, ODFW has set the following regulations for a spring Chinook fishery on the Hood River:
–Open for adult hatchery Chinook from April 15 through June 30 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls.
–The catch limit is one adult hatchery salmon per day, and five hatchery jack salmon per day.
— All wild Chinook salmon must be released unharmed.
Fishery managers are predicting a good return of about 1,200 adult hatchery fish for the Hood River, which is quite a bit higher than last year’s actual return.
There will be no season for spring Chinook on the Deschutes River for 2022 due to another year of predicted poor returns of both hatchery and wild fish.
According to Jason Seals, ODFW fish biologist, the Hood River fishery is one of the few places a bank angler has a pretty good chance of catching a Columbia River spring Chinook. Seals said the run usually peaks in late May due to colder water temperatures in the Hood River.