OLYMPIA, Wash. According to a news release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, fisheries managers in Washington and Oregon have agreed to close the recreational Chinook fishery in the lower and middle Columbia River effective Oct. 8.
The US v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee forecasts and monitors salmon and steelhead returns from the Columbia River. At its Oct. 3 meeting, the committee lowered the 2022 forecast for fall Chinook shiners by about 56,000.
Chinook fishing will be closed from Buoy 10 near the river mouth to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco, but recreational coho fishing may continue, the release said.
In addition, two commercial fisheries that run Chinook were scheduled to open the week of October 10, but managers have rescinded those openings.
“Given this significant reduction in expected yields, we had to move quickly to ensure we did not exceed our allowable catch rates on these Chinook,” said WDFW Columbia River Fisheries Manager Ryan Lothrop. “Closing the targeted Chinook fishery, including the retention of Chinook in the sport fishery, will reduce these impacts while allowing coho fishing in light of the reduced forecast.”
Conversely, the committee increased forecasts for steelhead through Bonneville Dam. Therefore, WDFW reports that Drano Lake will open to steelhead fishing from October 6-31 following a summer closure. The daily limit for farmed salmon and steelhead is six fish, one of which may be an adult. The minimum salmon size is 12 inches.