CLACKAMAS, Ore.— Due to a better-than-expected return of B-Index summer steelhead and low cumulative impacts to wild ESA-listed fish, Oregon and Washington fishery managers are easing steelhead regulations for the ongoing fishery in the mainstem Columbia River above The Dalles Dam.
From Nov. 1-Dec. 31, anglers may retain up to one hatchery steelhead within the two-fish daily adult salmonid bag limit in the mainstem Columbia River from The Dalles Dam upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco, WA.
This regulation change will provide some late fall steelhead retention opportunity for anglers upstream of The Dalles Dam for the first time since 2017.
The change also applies to the lower John Day River downstream of Tumwater Falls where one hatchery steelhead per day may be retained from Nov. 1 through the end of the year.
Fishery managers took a conservative approach when setting this year’s summer steelhead fishery due to a low projected return. The pre-season plan included extensive steelhead retention block closures and a reduced bag limit when open. These actions have resulted in low impacts to returning ESA-listed wild upriver summer steelhead, allowing fishery managers to lift the planned steelhead closure for the mainstem Columbia River upstream of The Dalles Dam during November and December.
The B-Index run is also doing better than expected with the return now projected at 32,300 fish, compared to the preseason expectation of 9,600 fish.
Winter steelhead retention was already scheduled to reopen from the mouth upstream to The Dalles Dam on Nov. 1.
All other regulations remain in effect including those specific to retention of jacks (5 per day allowed under permanent Oregon regulations) and the use of barbless hooks only.