As the huge coho and king salmon return snakes its way up the Columbia River, state Fish and Wildlife has decided to allow anglers more liberal seasons on some stretches of the upper river.
More than 80,000 fall kings from the Hanford Reach hatchery programs have returned to the area above Priest Rapids Dam, including 18,000 above Rock Island Dam.
Starting Saturday (Oct. 4) through Nov. 30, anglers can fish in the Upper Columbia from Priest Rapids Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam and the daily limit will be boosted to six chinook (marked or unmarked) and three may be adult fish.
Other rules are a minimum size limit of 12 inches; selective gear rules are in effect, except bait allowed; and a night closure is in effect. Access in the Wanapum Poll area remains closed.
According to state fisheries the idea behind this is remove extra hatchery fish from the upper river.
Anglers may also keep coho salmon Saturday (Oct. 4) through Nov. 30 in the Upper Columbia from Priest Rapids Dam to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Wenatchee, Icicle, and Methow rivers.
State fisheries says an estimated 30,000 or more coho are expected to return above Priest Rapids Dam, and the area is expected to meet hatchery spawning escapement goals.
In this area the daily limit is two coho with 12-inch minimum size limit.
Other rules are selective gear rules for all coho fishery areas, except bait allowed on the mainstem Columbia River; night closure for all coho fishery areas; release all floy (anchor) tagged coho; and motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers.