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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 7, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Sections of the Columbia river and tributaries open for sockeye or chinook fishing

The larger than anticipated Columbia River sockeye return has allowed more areas to open for sport fishing in the mainstem and tributaries.

Anglers can now keep sockeye in the Hanford Reach during the summer chinook fishery, which is open now through Aug. 15.

This includes the area of the Columbia River from the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam. The minimum size for sockeye is 12 inches. Daily limit six salmon, only four of which may be adults, up to two of the adult salmon may be chinook. Release all steelhead.

Fishing for sockeye is also open in the Upper Columbia River above Priest Rapids Dam.

Effective dates and locations are: Now through Oct. 15 from Priest Rapids Dam to Wells Dam; July 16 through Aug. 31 from Wells Dam to the Hwy. 173 Bridge in Brewster; and now through Oct. 15 from Hwy. 173 Bridge in Brewster to Hwy. 17 Bridge in Bridgeport.

In these three areas the minimum size for salmon is 12 inches. Daily limit six salmon, only four of which may be adults, up to two of the adult salmon may be chinook. All coho and steelhead must be released. Release any chinook with an anchor (floy) tag attached in the dorsal fin area.

Further upstream of the Columbia, sport fishing for chinook and sockeye is now open in the Okanogan River and Lower Similkameen River.

Effective dates and locations are: Now through Oct. 15 in the Okanogan River from mouth to Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth; now through Sept. 15 in the Okanogan River from Hwy. 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth to Hwy. 97 Bridge in Oroville; and now through Sept. 15 in the Similkameen River from the mouth to Hwy 7 Bridge in Oroville.

The Upper Columbia River summer chinook return at Wells Dam will meet spawning escapement goals, along with a enough for a sport fishery.The stock is stable and not listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. Sockeye returns are predicted to be in excess of needs for wild fish escapement. The stock is not listed under ESA.

For these three areas the minimum size for salmon is 12 inches. Daily limit is six salmon, only four of which may be adults, up to two of the adult salmon may be chinook. Coho salmon and steelhead must be released. The Okanogan River from Zosel Dam to first Highway 97 Bridge downstream of the dam will remain closed to all fishing. Anti-snagging rule and night closure are in effect for all species.

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