Sunday, January 24, 2021
24.0°F

Columbia River to open for Chinook salmon fishing this weekend

by CONNOR VANDERWEYST
Staff Writer | May 15, 2020 12:06 AM

OLYMPIA — State fishery managers announced Thursday that the Columbia River will be open an additional four days for spring Chinook salmon fishing beginning today.

On Wednesday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, or WDFW, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed to open the river to recreational spring Chinook fishing above and below the Bonneville Dam from May 15 to May 20.

“We saw good effort from anglers earlier this month, and we hope these additional days help others get back on the water as well,” said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW’s Columbia River fishery manager in a press release. “That said, with this year’s low forecast and with fishing happening during what’s usually the peak of the run, we’ll be watching catch numbers carefully and taking a conservative approach to make sure we’re staying within our allowable impacts.”

According to the press release, the area below the Bonneville Dam is open for Chinook fishing May 15 to 17 and May 20 for boat and bank angling from Warrior Rock line upstream to Beacon Rock, plus hand-cast, bank-only angling from Beacon Rock upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline. The space above the dam is open for Chinook May 15 to 17 and May 20 from the Tower Island power lines — approximately six miles below The Dalles Dam — upstream to Highway 730 at the border of Oregon and Washington; the Oregon and Washington banks between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines are open for fishermen deploying only hand casts, the press release stated.

The daily limit for salmon and steelhead in both locations is six; no more than two adult fish may be retained, of which one can be an adult Chinook, the release explained. The minimum size for salmon is 12 inches and barbless hooks are required, the release added.

Only hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead may be retained above Bonneville and only hatchery Chinook, hatchery steelhead and sockeye may be retained below Bonneville.

The department encouraged anglers to check regulations at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations and emergency rule updates at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ before arrival.