States set 2018 summer and fall salmon seasons on the Columbia

Columbia River Fishing Adventures with Buddy Dupell


 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2018 summer and fall fisheries for the Columbia River.

This year, anglers will see changes to daily bag limits and fewer fishing days for Chinook salmon due to lower harvest guidelines resulting from below-average salmon and steelhead forecasts.

For the summer season, adult Chinook retention will be limited to June 22 through July 4 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam. From Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, the summer Chinook season is scheduled for June 16 through July 31. The daily adult bag limit for both areas is two hatchery salmonids, which may include up to two Chinook when retention is allowed. Due to the projected low escapement, sockeye retention will be prohibited this year.

The fall seasons will start Aug. 1 based on a projected return of 375,500 fall Chinook, down from 476,100 last year. This year’s forecast includes 205,100 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 296,500 in 2017. Based on this lower forecast, fisheries will be managed for a harvest rate of 8.25 percent, down from 15 percent in the recent years, resulting in shorter fall Chinook retention seasons.

“Through the recent season-setting process, we worked with the public to design fall fisheries within the upriver bright Chinook constraints,” said John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program. “Hopefully a run upgrade in mid-September will allow us to liberalize some fisheries and provide additional opportunity.”

Though improved from last year’s return, predicted steelhead returns remain below average. To reduce harvest, anglers will be limited to one steelhead per day from Aug. 1 to the end of the year.

For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at www.myodfw.com.

The following are detailed regulations for the 2018 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summary of 2018
Summer/Fall Salmon and Steelhead Regulations
for the mainstem Columbia River

All regulations may be subject to in-season modification

Summer Season (June 16-July 31)

  • Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam
    • Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 22 – July 4 (13 days).
    • Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.
    • All other permanent rules apply.
  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)
    • Retention of adult hatchery Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed June 16 – July 31.
    • Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks and hatchery steelhead allowed June 16 – July 31. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids. Sockeye retention prohibited.
    • All other permanent rules apply.

Fall Seasons (Aug. 1-Dec. 31)

  • Buoy 10
    • Area definition: From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.
    • Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (16-inches or longer) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Daily bag limits by time period are described below. All other permanent rules apply.
    • Aug. 1 – Aug. 24: Retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) allowed. The daily bag limit is one adult salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, or hatchery steelhead only).
    • Aug. 25 – Sept. 30: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
    • Oct. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained.
  • Lower Columbia: Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island
    • Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island.
    • Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.
    • Aug. 1 – Sept. 2: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).
    • Sept. 3 – Dec. 31Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
  • Lower Columbia: Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam
    • Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.
    • Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.
    • Aug. 1 – Sept. 14: Retention of adult (24-inches or longer) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead only).
    • Sept. 15 – Dec. 31Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
  • Bonneville Dam upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)
      • Aug. 1 – Dec. 31: Retention of adult coho (longer than 20-inches) and hatchery steelhead allowed. Coho jacks may be retained. All coho (adults and jacks) retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. All other permanent rules apply.
      • Effective Aug. 1, retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) and Chinook jacks allowed but will be managed in-season based on actual catches and the upriver bright fall Chinook run-size.The daily adult bag limit is two salmonids, and may include up to one Chinook and up to one hatchery steelhead.

 


 

States set initial fishing seasons for Columbia River spring chinook


 

PORTLAND – Salmon managers from Washington and Oregon have approved sportfishing seasons for spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River, setting the stage for the first major salmon fishery of the year.

Anglers are already catching a few spring chinook in the lower Columbia below the Interstate 5 bridge, but the bulk of the run usually doesn’t arrive until March when the new rules take effect.

According to the preseason forecast, approximately 248,500 spring chinook salmon will return to the Columbia River this year – an increase of 20 percent from 2017. That number includes 166,700 upriver fish bound for waters above Bonneville Dam and 81,820 fish expected to return to rivers below the dam.

Bill Tweit, a special assistant for Columbia River fisheries at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), noted that the upriver forecast is up 44 percent from last year, but still 10 percent below the 10-year average.

“This year’s fishery appears to be shaping up as a fairly normal season,” Tweit said. “Even so, we always have to take a conservative approach in setting fishing seasons until we can determine how many fish are actually moving past Bonneville Dam.”

Based on the preseason projections, the two states approved initial fishing seasons for waters both below and above the dam:

Below Bonneville Dam: Catch guidelines approved today allocate 6,680 upriver fish for a 38-day fishing season below Bonneville Dam from March 1 through April 7. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers from Buoy 10 to Beacon Rock, and to bank anglers only upriver to the dam.

Above the dam: Spring chinook fishing will also be open March 16 through May 7 from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon border near Umatilla. The season will run for 53 days with an initial catch guideline of 900 upriver chinook. Bank fishing will also be allowed from the dam upriver to the power lines.
In both areas, the daily catch limit will be one adult hatchery chinook salmon, as part of a two-fish daily limit that can also include hatchery coho salmon and hatchery steelhead. Anglers fishing the Columbia River will be required to use barbless hooks, and must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.

Tweit said this year’s initial catch guidelines include a 30 percent “buffer” in the preseason forecast to guard against overharvesting the run. If actual returns meet or exceed expectations, fish held in reserve will become available for harvest later in the season, he said.

Fishery managers will likely meet in May – when half the run has historically passed Bonneville Dam – to determine if this year’s fishing season can be extended.

To participate in this fishery, anglers age 15 and older must possess a valid fishing license. In addition, anglers fishing upriver from Rocky Point must purchase a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River spring chinook fisheries.

Additional information about fishing rules in effect during the upcoming spring chinook season is posted on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

 

 


 

States set sturgeon season closures in Bonneville, John Day pools


 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Recreational sturgeon seasons in Bonneville and John Day pools will close in February under rules announced today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington.

The states decided to close recreational white sturgeon retention effective Sunday, Feb. 4 in Bonneville Pool and effective Monday, Feb. 12 in John Day Pool.

Columbia River recreational sturgeon retention seasons between Bonneville and McNary dams open at the beginning of the year and operate under area-specific harvest guidelines. The closure in John Day Pool is based on harvest data that indicates recreational sturgeon fishermen have kept 64 legal fish through Jan. 28, and are on track to approach their harvest guideline of 105 fish by the closure date. The closure of Bonneville Pool is intended to reserve a portion of the annual 325 fish area-specific harvest guideline for a short summer sturgeon retention season in June or July. Sturgeon retention in The Dalles Pool closed Jan. 20.

Following the sturgeon retention closure in The Dalles Pool, the annual harvest guideline for that pool was modified from 100 to 135 fish based on the 2017 population assessment. The revised guideline should provide some additional retention opportunity for 2018. Staff is considering options which could include providing a summer retention season, similar to the Bonneville Pool fishery.

Under permanent fishing regulations, sturgeon retention is currently closed below Bonneville Dam and below Willamette Falls. However, catch-and-release sturgeon fishing remains open in all of these waters. At the February 9th 2018, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting, staff will provide a lower Columbia River white sturgeon status update; guidance from the Commission regarding 2018 retention fisheries is anticipated.

No recreational smelt fishing on the Sandy

In other business, ODFW announced that it is not recommending a recreational smelt fishery in the Sandy River at this time. Smelt have been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 2010, and though some limited fisheries have occurred since then, abundance indicators are generally unfavorable for 2018. Staff will determine if a fishery is warranted after additional freshwater abundance indicators become available, including catch data from the research-level commercial fishery. Minor tribal fisheries for smelt may occur in the Sandy River for ceremonial and subsistence use.

For more information, see the Columbia River Zone Regulation Updates at myodfw.com.

The next scheduled Columbia River Compact/Joint State Hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 21 at the Portland Airport Shilo Inn, 11707 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97220. The primary purpose of this hearing is to set recreational spring salmon and steelhead seasons.

 


 

Fall salmon seasons kick off Aug. 1 with mixed forecasts

Photo Courtesy of Dave’s Guide Service


 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – 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.

 


 

Sturgeon Fishing on the Columbia River

 

Fishing for salmon and steelhead is pretty slow on the Columbia River right now, but on a better note sturgeon retention will be allowed up above the Bonneville dam coming this January.

These are big powerful fish that will give you a fight your biceps are sure to remember. Only a handful of guides will dare these fish in the cold winter months but we have the Sturgeon guides with the know how to get you hooked up. One of those guides is Buddy Dupell of Columbia River Fishing Adventures.

If you’re looking for a guide that does Sturgeon fishing trips on the Columbia, we have the guide for you here at Buoy 10 Charters. Get a hold of one of our top Columbia river fishing guides and book your Columbia River sturgeon fishing trips with Columbia River Fishing Adventures today!

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