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States set Chinook seasons for the Columbia River

Vancouver, Wash. (ODFW) – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington set spring Chinook salmon seasons for the Columbia River today during a joint state hearing in Vancouver.

The Columbia River spring Chinook seasons are based on a forecast of 227,000 returning upriver spring Chinook.

This compares to a 2013 actual upriver return of 123,100 and leaves a harvest guideline of 10,157 upriver fish for the sport fishery of Bonneville Dam.

The spring Chinook season for the lower Columbia below the I-5 Bridge opened Jan. 1 under permanent rules. The season adopted today will take effect March 1 and is expected to extend the fishery through April 7.

The recreational harvest guideline is a result of an increase in the recreational share of allowed ESA impacts for spring Chinook; the share is 70 percent this year compared to 60 percent available to the recreational fishery in 2013.

In addition to the seasons set today, anglers are reminded that a Columbia River Basin Endorsement is now required for all anglers with an Oregon license when fishing for salmon, steelhead or sturgeon in the Columbia River Basin.

CHINOOK SALMON

Columbia River from Buoy 10 to Bonneville Dam

Prior to March 1, permanent rules, as outlined in Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations, remain in effect.

From March 1 through April 7, boat fishing will be allowed seven days per week from Buoy 10 upstream to Beacon Rock.

Bank fishing will be allowed during the same timeframe from Buoy 10 upstream to Bonneville Dam.

The fishery will be closed on March 25 and April 1 to allow for potential commercial fisheries.

This fishery will be managed to the available guideline of 10,157 upriver spring Chinook.

The daily bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon or steelhead in combination. The rules also allow retention of up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day in Oregon.

Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to Oregon/Washington border

Effective March 16, this area will be open to retention of adipose fin-clipped Chinook through May 9.

Fishing for salmon and steelhead from a boat between Bonneville Dam and Tower Island power lines, six miles downstream from The Dalles Dam, is prohibited. Bank fishing is allowed throughout this area.

This fishery will be managed to the available guideline of 1,354 Chinook.

The daily bag limit will be two adipose fin-clipped adult salmon or steelhead in combination. The rules also allow retention of up to five adipose fin-clipped jack salmon per day in Oregon.

The one chinook bag limit upstream of Bonneville Dam is new for 2014.

Willamette River

On the Willamette River, the spring Chinook forecast is 58,700 fish.

The Willamette River remains open to retention of adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook salmon and adipose fin-clipped steelhead seven days a week.

The bag limit on the Willamette below Willamette Falls is two adipose fin-clipped Chinook.

Above the falls, one additional adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be retained under regulations for the combined salmon/steelhead bag limit.

STEELHEAD/SHAD

Effective March 1 through May 15, 2014 the mainstem Columbia River will be open for retention of shad and steelhead only during days and in areas open for retention of fin-clipped spring Chinook.

Beginning on May 16, permanent rules resume as listed in the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.

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