Follow us:

Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Columbia River spring chinook fishery to be announced Tuesday

Salmon anglers are waiting to hear the outcome of fishing seasons for spring chinook in the Columbia River, which will be announced Tuesday (Feb. 8) when Washington and Oregon fish managers meet in Oregon City.

A return of 198,400 upriver spring chinook is forecast to arrive in the Columbia River, which is the sixth largest since 1979.

Pad that with an additional 104,000 Willamette River spring chinook, plus spring chinook returns headed to the Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and tributaries above Bonneville Dam and you’ve got a fairly good number of fish coming back this spring.

Some of those early spring chinook have started to filter into the mighty Big-C and have already shown up in catches in recent days.

“There are some fish already being caught in the commercial and sport fisheries,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Water conditions are still pretty poor below the Cowlitz, but good in the Willamette and we’ve heard of catches on the mainstem.”

While this season’s spring chinook return falls way under the 470,000 (315,000 was the actual return) forecast last year, it is still considered an above-aveage run. The largest return was 437,900 in 2001, and the 10-year average is 219,000.

Last year’s sport fishery on the Lower Columbia River below I-5 (open daily from Jan. 1 to April 18) generated 156,600 angler trips with a catch of 26,400 chinook brought home and 4,000-plus released.

The sport fishery from I-5 to I-205 (open was open 22 days from March 1-April 3) generated 15,200 angler trips with 2,900 chinook kept and 400-plus released.

The sport and commercial sturgeon fisheries will also be decided at the meeting, and sport anglers will find less time on the water this season as the guideline is 17,000 down from 24,000 last year.

The meeting on Tuesday will be held 10 a.m. at the Clackamas County Historical Society, 211 Tumwater Drive, in Oregon City. Public input will also be taken.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►