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Tribal fishery for fall chinook salmon opens, strong harvest expected

Tribal officials expect a strong harvest in the fall chinook salmon season, which opened Monday.

About 778,000 fall chinook are forecast to make their way up the Columbia River this year, according to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. That’s smaller than last summer, when the run was the highest recorded in recent decades at about 969,000 fish, but still above average, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fall chinook season will be the largest harvest for tribal fishers this year, as the commission predicts harvest of more than 200,000 fish, or roughly 3.4 million pounds of salmon.

“The fall fishery is the economic backbone for our fishing communities, is the continuation of knowledge and tradition that has been passed down through generations, and represents decades of hard work and dedication to rebuilding salmon runs,” commission Chairman Patrick Luke said in a news release.

Fish will be counted through the season so that harvest limits are adjusted to levels that will protect the continued growth of the fall chinook populations.

Salmon should be available for purchase through September directly from fishermen at several locations along the river, including: Marine Park in Cascade Locks; North Bonneville, 1 mile east of Bonneville Dam on the Washington shore; Koberg, just east of Hood River; and Celilo Village.


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