More salmon fishing days have been added below Bonneville Dam

Fisheries managers from Oregon and Washington added more recreational salmon fishing opportunities on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam during a joint state hearing Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) updated the run size forecast for adult Chinook falling in the Columbia River mouth to 680,800 fish, higher than the pre-season forecast of 554,000 fish. As of September 11, a total of 362,047 adult-sized Chinook had crossed Bonneville Dam.

Seasons and regulations added are:

Friday, September 15 through Thursday, September 21 from the Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island line upstream to Bonneville Dam for Chinook and Coho Hatchery. The bag limit is two salmon, and only one may be a chinook

Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17 from the West Puget Island line upstream to the Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island line for Chinook and Coho hatcheries. The bag limit is two salmon, and only one may be a chinook.

All other relevant permanent regulations remain in effect.

The area between West Puget Island and Warrior Rock was originally scheduled to be closed to fishing from September 5-30. Highest concentration of Tule Fall Chinook, Including the European Space AgencyThe lower fall Chinook of the Columbia River is located in this section of the river where these fish are found near the mouths of tributaries natal in September. This is the most restrictive stock to manage for the fall salmon fishery on the Columbia River this year.

Initially, fishery managers are taking a cautious approach with a short, three-day reopening that would provide an immediate opportunity while limiting the potential risk of exceeding the available impacts of lowering the Columbia River Chinook waterfall. During the hearing, fishery managers discussed adding more opportunities from West Puget Island to Warrior Rock later this fall if impacts permit.

Fishing from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam is still ongoing, and although catch rates have been good, efforts have been lower than expected. There are still enough impacts to extend the fishery beyond September 21, but managers are again taking a cautious approach to minimize the risk of exceeding available impacts.

The next scheduled hearing is scheduled for September 20 to discuss Indian commercial fisheries under the treaty. If fishery managers determine that additional fishing opportunity beyond what has been approved today is available within the department guidelines, They will announce an amendment to the hearing agenda to add consideration of non-treaty fisheries.

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