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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Latest fact sheet for the Columbia River spring chinook fisheries

Here is the state fisheries managers compact meeting summary fact sheet:

OREGON AND WASHINGTON DEPARTMENTS OF FISH AND WILDLIFE JOINT STAFF REPORT: SPRING FACT SHEET NO. 5

Columbia River Joint State Hearing

April 30 2012

Stock Status

Bonneville Dam passage of Chinook through April 29 totals 21,572 adults. Based on the 5-year average, passage at Bonneville averages 26% complete (range 13% to 46%) by April 29 and the 50% passage date is May 7, ranging from May 1 to May 12.

The U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met today to review the status of the upriver spring Chinook run. TAC did not provide an official update, but stated the run is unlikely to reach the preseason forecast.

Non-Treaty Fishery Updates – Salmon

Two mainstem commercial salmon fishing periods (18 hours combined) occurred on April 3 and April 10. Landings include 6,179 Chinook. One additional Chinook was landed during the winter sturgeon season. Upriver Chinook mortalities total 4,318 fish, compared to the 5,900 available pre-update (73%).

Winter season Select Area fisheries concluded April 5 and spring fisheries began April 19. Landings thru April 27 total 1,752 Chinook.

The lower Columbia River recreational fishery was open through Sunday April 22. The estimated catch is 11,826 kept adult fish from 106,400 angler trips. Kept and release mortalities of upriver fish is estimated at 8,922 fish, or 70% of the 12,700 available prior to the run update.

The recreational fishery from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border is open March 16 through May 2. Catch and effort has been minimal, reflective of the delayed passage at Bonneville Dam, totaling 169 kept and 18 released through April 29. Catch projections for April 30-May 2 include 60 Chinook kept and 8 released. Season total upriver Chinook mortalities for this fishery are projected to total 232 fish, compared to the 1,700 available pre-update (14%).

The recreational fisheries on the Snake River (Washington waters) opened below Ice Harbor Dam on April 20 and in three areas between Little Goose Dam and Clarkston, Idaho on April 25. A total of 1,362 Chinook mortalities are available to this fishery pre-update.

The current season total upriver catch (kept and release mortalities) in all non-treaty fisheries is 13,562 fish (62% of the 21,994 available prior to the run update). A final upriver run size of 149,000 is required to remain within catch balance and impact limitations for completed fisheries; the ongoing Bonneville to OR/WA border recreational fishery (through May 2); and Select Area commercial fisheries (through April 27).

Recreational Chinook catch in the area from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border is projected to be well below the pre-update allocation by May 2. Weak passage and poor water conditions have resulted in poor catch rates.

If a four day season extension (thru Sunday May 6) is considered, the expected catch would be about 500 fish including 450 Chinook kept and 50 released.

Preliminary summary of 2012 Non-treaty upriver Chinook catches (Pre-Update)

Upriver Catch (kept plus release mortalities)

Fishery: Allocated; In Hand; Planned; Total.

Mainstem commercial (complete): 5,914; 4,318; 0; 4,318.

Select Area commercial (actual thru 4/27; planned thru 6/15): 330; 90; 240; 330.

Below Bonneville recreational (complete): 12,666; 8,922; 0; 8,922.

Bonneville to OR/WA border recreational (in hand thru 5/2 and projected through 5/6): 1,689; 232; 455; 687.

Snake River recreational (began April 20): 1,362; 0; 1,362; 1,362.

Wanapum Tribal: 33; 0; 33; 33.

Total Upriver Impacts: 21,994; 13,562; 2,090; 15,652.

A final upriver run size of 172,000 is required to remain within catch balance and impact limitations for completed mainstem commercial and lower Columbia recreational fisheries; the ongoing Bonneville to OR/WA border recreational fishery (including extension thru May 6); and pre-update allocations for Select Area commercial and Snake River fisheries.

Miscellaneous Regulations

Due to past enforcement issues at the old Cascade Navigation Locks during the late spring and summer, Oregon staff have been working with Oregon State Police to develop language pertaining to hook regulations specific to this fishing location.

Oregon Staff Recommendation:

Bonneville Pool Recreational Fishery

Effective May 16 – July 31, 2012, only single-point hooks are allowed when angling at Cascade Locks in the area between the boat ramp at the lower end of the locks upstream to the east (upstream) end of the lock wall.

The proposed regulation is intended to reduce the potential for snagging which can occur at this location because anglers can vertically-jig their gear.

This regulation is being proposed as a year-round rule in the 2013 Oregon sport fishing regulation process.

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