Summer Chinook retention to close July 1 on much of Columbia River

Columbia River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

OLYMPIA – With summer Chinook salmon returning to the Columbia River in lower-than-expected numbers so far in 2023, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced Wednesday that recreational fishing for adult summer Chinook will close on much of the Columbia River mainstem beginning Saturday, July 1.

Fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said Wednesday that the current return of upper Columbia summer Chinook is tracking about 30 percent below the preseason forecast of 85,400 fish. 

As a result, retention of adult summer Chinook will close from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Priest Rapids Dam. 

Fishing for sockeye and jack Chinook (defined as Chinook between 12 to 24 inches in length) remains open from the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco upstream to Priest Rapids Dam. Fishing also remains open for sockeye, hatchery jack Chinook, and hatchery steelhead from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge. 

"We'll continue monitoring the return, but all current indications suggest this closure is necessary for us to meet our allocation and conservation objectives for summer Chinook on the Columbia River," said Quinten Daugherty, Columbia River fishery biologist with WDFW.

The mainstem Columbia River above Priest Rapids Dam will still open July 1 for adult summer Chinook retention.

The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which forecasts and monitors salmon and steelhead returns to the Columbia River, is expected to formally update the forecast for summer Chinook on Thursday.

As always, anglers should be sure to check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet to see permanent regulations for the section of river where they hope to fish, as well as WDFW's emergency rules webpage for updates to this fishery and other fisheries statewide.

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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