States set summer and fall salmon fishing seasons

Oregon and Washington fishery managers recently announced seasons and regulations for the 2019 summer and fall Columbia River fisheries.

Although coho returns are projected to be much better than recent runs, below-average projections for summer Chinook, fall Chinook, sockeye, and upriver summer steelhead will require another year of reduced seasons and bag limits for those runs, and in some cases closure.

The summer season will be limited to steelhead retention. The weak summer Chinook forecast, 35,900 fish returning to the Columbia River, would be the lowest return since 2000 and too small to provide for directed harvest in non-treaty fisheries. Similar to 2018, sockeye retention will also be prohibited due to projected low escapement.

The fall seasons will start Aug. 1 based on a projected return of 349,700 fall Chinook, which is almost 20 percent higher than the actual return of 293,400 last year. This year’s forecast includes 159,250 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 149,000 in 2018. The allowed harvest rate of 8.25 percent on this stock is down from 15 percent available during many recent years, resulting in shorter fall Chinook retention seasons.

“The reduced harvest rate for upriver bright fall Chinook has made it challenging to design fall recreational fisheries the last two years,” said John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program. “Working with the public in the recent season-setting process, we tried to balance opportunity with management constraints for fall Chinook and steelhead.”

Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, additional protective regulations will be needed this fall, including a one steelhead daily bag limit and area-specific steelhead retention closures. The rolling closures start in August and progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. These closures affect the mainstem Columbia and the lower reaches of specific tributaries.

Spring concert planned

The Cascade Singers’ spring concert has been rescheduled from early June to June 15 and 16. “Compositori Femminili: A Global Celebration of Female Composers” will be presented Saturday, June 15, 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 16, 3 p.m., at Zion Lutheran Church, 101 West 10th St., The Dalles.

The concert features women’s contributions to the musical scene, from Hildegard of Bingen in the Middle Ages to contemporary composers and arrangers.

The Cascade Singers of The Dalles, Oregon, presented their first concert in the spring of 1976. Contact Miles Thoming-Gale at milesmansfield93@gmail.com information.

Performing arts center discussion

The Gorge Arts and Business Alliance will gather May 22, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The Foley, 106 East 4th St., The Dalles, to discuss a proposed state-of-the-art, 600-seat performing arts center that Performing Arts Initiative (POI) envisions on Westcliff Drive in Hood River. The venue and setting would "anchor the performing arts in the Gorge, attract a broad range and depth of talent, bring new dollars into the region, and enliven the arts along the Columbia River and beyond," according to PAI.

The Pines 1852 estate winery pours no-host tastings or a glass, and Hors d’oeuvres will be available.

More information at www.gorgeperformingarts.org.

SKORE receives award

The OSU Sherman County Extension and the Sherman School’s “Sherman Kids On the Road to Excellence” (SKORE) program was awarded the “Excellence in Afterschool Programming Award” at the Oregon 4-H Conference in Bend.

SKORE has offered afterschool cooking activities for youth in the afterschool program since the fall of 2012, in partnership with the OSU Sherman Extension. The program includes a variety of recipes rotating through breakfast, lunch and dinner items, and introduces basic activities such as cooking eggs and learning to use electric and stovetop skillets and kettles, electric woks, blenders, and hand mixers.

According to a press release, the goal was to “increase self-confidence and self-sufficiency in the kitchen, expose students to a variety of healthy eating options, teach safe food handling, kitchen and equipment safety, and provide a beneficial afterschool activity.”

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