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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 9, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Lower Columbia spring chinook catch on rise as fishery nears closure date

CHINOOK RUNAs the closure date of April 14 nears for the Lower Columbia spring chinook fishery and with the catch improving, state Fish and Wildlife officials are expecting effort to rise dramatically in the coming days.

“We’re expecting about 45,500 angler trip and an expected catch of 8,400 fish (from April 7-14, closed on Tuesday, April 8), which is more than double what has occurred (from March through April 6),” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

“It is a nice day (Wednesday) and catches were picking up,” Hymer said. “Water on the Columbia is pretty clear, and folks on the Willamette got some larger five-year-old fish. The upriver bound fish seem to be doing pretty well.”

The sport spring chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam was extended beyond the preseason closure of April 8 after initial catches were down and terrible water conditions was one of the factors in the slow fishing.

The estimated catch through Sunday, April 6 is 2,821 kept adult fish from 42,330 angler trips.

The combined kept and release mortalities of upriver-bound spring chinook through April 14 is projected to be 9,230 fish, or 91-percent of the 10,157 available prior to a run update.

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