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Deschutes opens chinook season

River boasts healthiest wild chinook in Columbia Basin region

THE DALLES — The lower Deschutes River will open for fall chinook salmon fishing on Aug. 1.

The river will be open from the mouth at the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls. The daily bag limit is two adult chinook and five jacks. (Jack chinook salmon are 15-24 inches long.)

According to Rod French, ODFW fish biologist, the Deschutes boasts one of the healthiest wild fall chinook populations in the Columbia Basin.

“We experienced the second largest return on record last year with over 18,000 fish returning to the Deschutes, and expect another large return again this year,” he said.

The chinook salmon season will close Oct. 31.

Anglers are reminded that all wild (non adipose fin-clipped) steelhead must be released unharmed and that the use of bait is restricted to the section of the river from Sherars Falls downstream to the upper railroad trestle.

All other regulations listed in the 2013 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations remain unchanged.

For more information, call Rod French at 541-296-4628 or Jessica Sall at 503-947-6023.

Chinook prospects good on Sandy

CLACKAMAS – Strong expected returns of spring chinook salmon are buoying fishing prospects on the Sandy River this summer, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists.

“We have a good return of spring chinook this year and fishing conditions are excellent,” said Todd Alsbury, fish biologist for ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed District.

Alsbury said an estimated 6,500 spring chinook are expected to return to the Sandy River basin this year.

Of the total, approximately 4,000 are hatchery fish, identified by clipped adipose fins, and are available for harvest.

Wild fish must be immediately released unharmed under state fishing regulations.

The Sandy is closed to salmon fishing above its confluence with the Salmon River.

The best fishing is likely going to be between the mouth of the Salmon River downstream to Oxbow Park, according to Alsbury. “The fish don’t seem to be holding in the lower river due to the lack of deep pools that spring chinook tend to hold in,” he said, “but you still might pick a springer on its way through to the upper river.”

Alsbury noted that the dynamics of the Sandy River chinook fishery have changed in recent years.

He said springers now return later than in years past.

Despite this, the fish are in excellent condition, he said.

“People just aren’t used to fishing for spring chinook in the summer,” he said, adding, “This is a great time for an outing on one of Oregon’s most scenic rivers.”

Alsbury suggests anglers targeting these fish look for deep holes, fish earlier in the morning and later in the evening.

He said effective presentations include a bobber and eggs/sand shrimp, spoons, spinners, and even wet flies in the long, deep riffles where chinook sometime lay.

Call Alsbury at 971-673-6011 for more information.


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