Portion of lower Columbia River to reopen to salmon fishing Saturday

Columbia River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

OLYMPIA – A section of the lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam will reopen to salmon fishing this weekend, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced today.

The section of the Columbia River from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam will open beginning Saturday, Sept. 11 to retention of Chinook and hatchery coho. Camas Slough will remain closed.

The opening comes one week after much of the lower river below Bonneville was closed due to concerns about impacts to salmon listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According to Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), review of catch information indicated that few ESA-listed lower river Chinook tules are present at this point in the season in the portion of river set to reopen. The Camas Slough closure will help provide additional protection for returning Chinook.

“We know last week’s closure was tough for many anglers, so being able to reopen this section of river so quickly is a great development,” Lothrop said. “We’re carefully monitoring other river sections in hopes of providing additional reopenings and getting people back out fishing.”

Lothrop noted that managers will, as always, prioritize remaining within harvest limits on the Columbia River, and fisheries will only reopen if they won’t exceed allowable impacts on listed species. 

The section of opened river will return to permanent rules as listed in the 2021-22 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations. Steelhead retention remains closed.

Anglers can find more information on the reopening at WDFW’s emergency rules website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/, and should check there for updates to this and other fisheries before heading out.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

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