Washington and Oregon fisheries officials met Thursday, and decided to extend the Lower Columbia River spring chinook fishery through April 13.
The fishery was expected to close this Friday (April 6). The sport fishery will also be closed on Tuesday (April 10) for a possible commercial gill-net fishery.
Cold water temperatures, high flow, and mud and silt coming out of the Willamette River in Oregon into the Columbia mainstem are just some of the reasons why the forecast of 314,200 upriver spring chinook are late in arriving. As this point only 49 fish have been counted at Bonneville Dam’s fish counter.
Commercial gill-netters on Tuesday caught about 2,500 fish. Sport fishing has been pitifully slow in the lower river.
Last year’s return was late too, and fish encountered similar water conditions. Plus, the majority of returning fish are four-year-olds, which tend to return late.
Fisheries officials will meet on April 12 to review catches, run updates and make a decision on whether to further extend the sport fishery.