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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Lower Columbia River spring chinook fishery extended

fishin12The Lower Columbia River spring chinook will now remain open through April 12 except closed April 9 for a possible commercial fishery.

The spring chinook fishery – which was originally scheduled to close April 5 – catch levels have fallen below expectations.

Through March 31, anglers caught 1,500 adult spring chinook, about 25 percent of the 6,100-fish harvest expected by this point.

The fishery started off on a slow note, but has started to pick up. River conditions remain excellent with low levels and warm temperatures.

If spring chinook catches ramp up the fishery could close sooner or stay open longer. State Fish and Wildlife officials will monitor the fishery on a daily basis and will likely meet sometime next week.

Fishery managers will also meet in May to consider whether potential changes in the run size will allow a late-season opening.

This year’s forecast of 141,400 upriver spring chinook is about 25 percent below the 10-year average, and much lower than the past three years when strong returns came back to the big river, including 203,000 last year.

Spring chinook and steelhead fishing is open in Lower Columbia from mouth up to Beacon Rock, and for bank angling up to the fishing boundary below Bonneville Dam. The daily limit below Bonneville Dam is two adult hatchery-raised fish and no more than one may be an adult chinook.

 

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