Fall salmon seasons kick off Aug. 1 with mixed forecasts
The popular Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River opens on Tuesday, Aug. 1 with a mixed forecast for Chinook, coho and steelhead returns.
The biggest change for the 2017 fall season are restrictions on steelhead retention which include area-specific, 1-2 month steelhead retention closures and a one steelhead bag limit when retention is allowed.
Facing low expected returns of upriver summer steelhead, fishery managers adopted a series of “rolling closures” that progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce the take of both hatchery and wild fish.
All steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released as follows:
- Buoy 10 upstream to The Dalles Dam during Aug. 1-31
- The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam during Sept. 1-30
- John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam during Sept. 1 - Oct. 31
- McNary Dam upstream to Hwy. 395 during Oct. 1 – Nov. 30
Night angling is also prohibited except for registered anglers targeting Northern pikeminnow.
A total of 614,000 Chinook are expected to enter the Columbia this fall, which is slightly less than last year’s actual return of 642,000 returning Chinook. The Buoy 10 fishery is the first Columbia River area that will encounter returning fall salmon. Effort and catch in other sections of the mainstem will build as the season progresses. Chinook retention seasons will vary by area to remain within harvest quotas.
Coho returns are predicted to be improved this year, with 319,000 adult coho expected to enter the river mouth, versus last year’s actual return of 196,000. Hatchery coho retention is expected to remain open throughout the fall season.
The Buoy 10 fishery is scheduled to be open for retention of any adult Chinook salmon through Sept. 4 with a two fish/one Chinook daily adult bag limit. Chinook retention is expected to be closed during Sept. 5-30.
From Tongue Point upstream to Warrior Rock, retention of any Chinook will be allowed through Sept. 7, with a two fish/one Chinook daily adult bag limit. Chinook retention will continue from Sept. 8-14, but only for hatchery Chinook.
From Warrior Rock upstream to Hwy. 395 (Pasco, Wash.), Chinook retention is scheduled to be open all fall with a two fish/two Chinook daily adult bag limit.
A complete summary of 2017 Columbia River fall regulations are available on the ODFW website at Regulation updates.
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