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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 28, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Sockeye fishing opens next month in parts of Columbia and Okanogan rivers

A relatively strong sockeye return will allow anglers to soon fish for them in some areas of the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam up to Chief Joseph Dam, and a section of the Lower Okanogan River.

The area from from Priest Rapids Dam to Wells Dam, the Highway 173 Bridge in Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam, and from mouth of Okanogan River upstream to the first Highway 97 Bridge will be open Monday, July 1 until further notice.

The Columbia from Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge in Brewster will be open July 16 until further notice.

Through Wednesday, June 26, 89,166 sockeye have passed up Bonneville Dam and 54,124 were counted at John Day Dam.

State Fish and Wildlife’s recent estimates of Okanogan sockeye are predicted to be adequate to allow an angler harvest of 3,000 to 4,000 sockeye.

Daily limit will be six salmon, and no more than two may be adult hatchery chinook and two adult sockeye. Minimum size for adult chinook is 24 inches and adult sockeye is 12 inches. Anglers must quit fishing after they’ve caught their adult salmon catch limit.

Barbless hooks required, and bait fishing allowed. Anglers may use two poles with two pole endorsement.

Salmon with floy tags and/or one or more holes (round, approximately ¼ inch in diameter) punched in the tail must be released.

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