Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon on Tuesday announced fishing seasons for Columbia River spring-chinook salmon and white sturgeon.
According to an earlier forecast, 198,400 upriver spring chinook are expected to return to the Columbia River this year, close to the 10-year average. To guard against overestimating the run, the states are maintaining a 30 percent buffer until the forecast is updated this spring.
Initial seasons allocate 7,750 hatchery upper-river spring chinook to the sport fishery below Bonneville Dam, 1,650 to anglers fishing above Bonneville and 2,100 to the commercial fleet.
Spring-chinook fishing is currently open from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to the Interstate 5 bridge. Under the new rules, the fishery will be expanded 22 miles upriver to Rooster Rock on March 1-April 4.
Bank anglers also will be allowed to fish from Rooster Rock up to the fishing boundary below Bonneville Dam during that time.
Above Bonneville Dam, the fishery will be open daily March 16- April 24 between the Tower Island power lines six miles below The Dalles Dam and the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. Bank anglers can also fish from Bonneville Dam upriver to the power lines during that time.
The new white sturgeon harvest guidelines will limit this year’s take to 17,000 fish, a 30 percent reduction from last year. That action follows a 40 percent reduction imposed last season.
Of the recreational catch, 60 percent of the sport catch will be reserved for the estuary fishery below the Wauna powerlines and 40 percent for the fishery upriver from the powerlines to Bonneville Dam.
For a complete recap of the rules, go to blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure.