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Barbless hook rule set to expand on Columbia

FISHING —  Starting May 1, anglers fishing for salmon or steelhead on the Columbia River and most of its tributaries downstream from Chief Joseph Dam will be required to use barbless hooks.

This is just one of several new fishing rules adopted for 2013 by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The new barbless regulations expand a similar rule in effect on the stretch of the Columbia River that constitutes the border between Washington and Oregon.

The new rules extend the ban on barbed hooks another 250 miles upriver on the Columbia River and to dozens of its tributaries, including the Cowlitz, White Salmon, Klickitat, Snake, Yakima and Okanogan rivers. 

Anglers fishing those waters will still be allowed to use single, double-point or treble hooks, so long as the barbs have been filed off or pinched down.

Jim Scott, assistant director of the WDFW Fish Program, said the new rule will contribute to ongoing efforts to minimize impacts on wild stocks while maintaining opportunities for anglers to harvest abundant hatchery fish.

“Anyone who’s ever fished with barbless hooks knows they are easier to remove from a fish’s mouth than a barbed hook,” Scott said. “That’s important in fisheries where anglers are required to release wild fish unharmed.”

Fishing regulations requiring the release of wild salmon and steelhead are common in the Columbia River Basin and other Washington waters, especially in areas wild salmon and steelhead are protected by state and federal laws. In those cases, only hatchery fish marked with a clipped adipose fin and a healed scar may be retained.

“Anglers fishing for salmon and steelhead in Puget Sound and ocean waters have been required to use barbless hooks for years,” Scott said. “The new rule on the Columbia River is consistent with our state’s longstanding commitment to sustainable fisheries.”

Waters where the new rules apply are marked in WDFW’s 2013-14 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, now posted online.

The paper version of the pamphlet will be distributed to recreational license dealers around the state by early May.

Spring drawdown begins at Lake Roosevelt

BOATING — The level of Lake Roosevelt is about 1274 feet today, and it's begun a steady downward trend to make room for spring runoff.  But Columbia River dam operators don't expect the drawdown to be nearly as severe as in recent years, having less impact on boaters and anglers.

Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to reach the flood control elevation of 1258.5 at the end of the month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. 

Lake levels are expected to decrease 1 to 1.5 feet a day and spill over the drumgates will be intermittent through the rest of the month in order to reach the flood control elevation target.

Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Salmon fishing seminar tonight at Mark’s Marine

FISHING — Mike Cordon of the Adventure Guide Service and Benita Galland will present a free salmon fishing program tonight, 6:30 p.m. for the latest in this year's seminar series at Mark’s Marine, 14355 N. Government Way in Hayden.

The seminar will focus on techniques and their favorite fishing spots and seasons on Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Columbia River system.

The last scheduled seminar at Mark's Marine is April 11, the annual Electronics Seminar presented by Mike Pentony, the Lowrance west coast pro staffer.

East siders wary of extending spring chinook fishing in Lower Columbia

FISHING — Spring chinook anglers in the lower Columbia River are getting an additional six days of fishing.

Low harvest levels ran well below expectations in March, prompting Oregon and Washington to extend the initial  recreational fishing season through April 12.  Originally, it was set to close, previously set to close April 5.
 
Fishing success picked up on Wednesday.
 
Through March, anglers had caught just 1,500 adult spring chinook salmon, about 25 percent of the 6,100-fish harvest expected by this point in fishery, said Ron Roler, Washington Fish and Wildlife's Columbia River policy coordinator.
 
“The season definitely got off to a slow start, but the bulk of the run is starting to move in,” Roler said. “River conditions are excellent – low and warm – so we will be monitoring the fishery closely to make sure the catch doesn’t exceed the established guideline.”
 
Allen Thomas of the Vancouver Columbian caught two East Side salmon spokesman for comments from an upstream perspective:
  • Idaho Fish and Game fisheries manager Pete Hassemer suggested that Oregon and Washington close fishing on a couple of days next week to lessen the harvest on the earliest-returning spring chinook, which largely are headed to Idaho.
  • Tri-State Steelheaders spokesman Mike Bireley in Walla Walla urged sport fishing in the lower Columbia be limited to three days per week until 10 percent of the projected upper Columbia-Snake run has crossed Bonneville Dam.
Guy Norman, WDFW regional director in Vancouver, cautioned that sport catches can skyrocket in April if the fish arrive.
 
“River conditions are very good for catching spring chinook salmon,'' Norman said. “I want to be sure we're on top of this.''
 
After three years of strong spring chinook returns, this year’s fishery is based on a projected run of 141,400 upriver fish, about 25 percent below the 10-year average. By comparison, approximately 203,000 fish destined for areas above Bonneville Dam returned to the Columbia River last year. Another 67,600 are predicted to return this year to the Willamette and other lower Columbia tributaries.

Under the plethora of state, federal and tribal management agreements, sportsmen in the lower Columbia are allocated 4,900 of those upper Columbia chinook before mid-May. About 1,570 of those 4,900 are projected to be caught through Friday and 3,652 chinook through April 12.

Washington and Oregon officials say they may meet on April 10 to review sport catches from the lower Columbia. Norman said he also wants the states to track the catch and be ready by Monday or Tuesday if an early closure is warranted.

State officials will meet at 2 p.m. Monday to consider commercial fishing on Tuesday in the lower Columbia.
 

Lake Roosevelt near summer level for weekend

BOATING — The level of Lake Roosevelt was at at the summer-like elevation of 1282.00  feet this morning, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation expects the level to rise only slightly to1282.6 by Sunday.

The elevation likely will drop to about 1279.9 by April 10. Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet flood control elevations.

The current flood control elevations are as follows:

  • March 31 - 1282.6 feet
  • April 30 - 1265.1 feet

These elevations can and probably will change with the April water supply forecast scheduled for announcement the second week of April.

Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Salmon, steelhead issues topic of Tri-Cities meeting

FISHING – Washington fisheries managers will explain forecasts and rules for salmon and steelhead fishing in the Columbia Basin in a public meeting Wednesday (March 27), 5 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Benton PUD building, 2721 W. 10th Ave. in Kennewick.

Discussion topics will range from new barbless hook requirements to pre-season forecasts, including those for salmon and steelhead upstream of McNary Dam.

This season, salmon and steelhead anglers are required to use barbless hooks on the mainstem Columbia River downstream of the Washington-Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. The rule is likely to be applied to the entire Columbia and its tributaries.

The meeting is part of the salmon season-setting process known as North of Falcon, which involves representatives from federal, state and tribal governments and recreational and commercial fishing industries. Final salmon fishing seasons will be adopted in early April at the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Portland.

Lake Roosevelt water levels staying high

BOATING — The level of Lake Roosevelt is about 1280.60 feet, and it's trending up almost to summer-like levels with little beach showing on the shorelines..

The elevation of Lake Roosevelt is expected to rise over the next week. It is antipated the elevation will be in the 1279 - 1281 range through the end of the Month.

The current flood control elevations the maximum elevation targets for Lake Roosevelt are:

  • March 31 - 1282.6 feet
  • April 30 - 1265.1 feet

These elevations can and probably will change with the April water supply forecast scheduled for announcement the second week of April.

Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Wash. commission amends recently adopted fishing rules

FISHING — In an unusual  move, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, meeting in a conference call today, reconsidered and amended several fishing regulation it had adopted at its March 1 meeting in Moses Lake.

The changes include increasing the annual limit for white sturgeon in the Columbia River from one to two, as well as changes related to Western Washington fisheries such as thresher sharks, rockfish and cabezon.

Read on for the details from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Ocean chinook quotas likely lower than 2012

FISHING — Anglers fishing along the Washington coast will likely see a lower catch quota for chinook salmon this year, while the quota for coho is expected to be similar to last season, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Monday night.

Three options for ocean salmon fisheries approved today by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) anticipate a lower abundance of lower Columbia River hatchery chinook in the ocean, but an increase in Columbia River hatchery coho. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Read on for details about the three options for  2013 salmon fisheries package the council will consider in April.

Lake Roosevelt water levels to be steady

RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1275 today and likely will be stable for a while.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation antipates the elevation will be in the 1275 -1276 range through the next week. Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet the minimum tailwater requirement of 11.8 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum.

The flood control levels are the maximum elevation for Lake Roosevelt. Other factors such as power demand or supplying water downstream for fish can result in elevations under the flood control elevations.

The flood control elevations are as follows:

  • March 31 - 1282.3 feet
  • April 30 - 1260.8 feet

These elevations can and probably will change with the March water supply forecast.

This is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.

Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

Also, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Roosevelt lake levels on downward trend

RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1278.4 feet today in a drop that was predicted to be around 1 foot in a 24 hour period.

The elevation of Lake Roosevelt is expected to drop by about 1/2 foot per day over the next week. It is antipated the elevation will be about 1274 by the end of next week, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet the minimum tailwater requirement of 13.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum.

The flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt have changed based on the February water supply forecast. January turned out to be a dry month and currently the forecast does not call for significant precipitation into the near future. The water inflow forecast from January - July into Lake Roosevelt is 89% of average.

The flood control levels are the maximum elevation for Lake Roosevelt. Other factors such as power demand or supplying water downstream for fish can result in elevations under the flood control elevations.

The flood control elevations are as follows:

  • Feb. 28 - 1290 feet
  • March 31 - 1282.3 feet
  • April 30 - 1260.8 feet

These elevations can and probably will change with the March water supply forecast.

This is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.

Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

Also, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Wind River salmon-steelhead fishing changes detailed

FISHING — Rule changes for salmon and steelhead fishing, including a two-week late-March closure, will take effect next month on the Wind River, a popular Columbia River fishery. 

Click “continue reading” for the details posted today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Lake Roosevelt water levels temporarily rising

RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1274.85 at midnight last night and is expected to 
slowly rise over the next week.

The Bureau of Reclamation anticipates the elevation for the end of next week will be in the 1277 - 1279 range.

Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet power demand and also the minimum tailwater requirement of 13.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum.

The flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt have been issued based on the January water supply forecast. These levels are the maximum elevation for Lake Roosevelt. Other factors such as power demand can result in elevations under the flood control elevations.

The flood control elevations are as follows:

  • January 31 - 1290 feet

  • February 28 - 1290 feet

  • March 31 - 1266.4 feet

  • April 30 - 1235.7 feet

     These elevations can and probably will change with the February water supply forecast.

  • This is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.

    Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

    Also, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Comment closes Tuesday on Washington fishing rule proposals

    FISHING —  An update on proposed changes to sportfishing rules will be presented by state fish managers to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its Feb. 8-9 meeting in Olympia.  See the preliminary meeting agenda here.

    Fishing rule proposals affecting Eastern Washington angling include:

    • Liberalizing limits for bass, walleye and channel catfish in the main stem and tributaries of the Snake and Columbia rivers, including Lake Roosevelt.
    • Changing regulations on motorized boats on the Yakima and lower Grande Ronde.
    • Prohibiting use of internal combustion motors at Yocum Lake in Pend Oreille County.
    • Converting North Silver Lake in Spokane County to a year-round fishery for warmwater species.
    • Prohibiting trout fishing in Methow River stretches to protect steelhead.

    Public comments on the proposals are being accepted on the agency’s website through Tuesday (Jan. 29).

    The commisison is set to vote on the proposals at a March 1-2 meeting.

    Upper Columbia salmon hatchery previewed

    FISHING — The BPA-funded upper Columbia River salmon hatchery being built near Bridgeport and managed under the direction of the Colville Confederated Tribes is scheduled to go online in May.

    The Seattle Times posted this update on the project, which should greatly enhance salmon fishing potential in the Columbia and Okanogan rivers.

    Gillnetting to end in Columbia by 2017

    FISHING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted to phase out gillnet fishing on the main stem of the Columbia River, relegating the primary commercial fishing tool to tributaries and bays.

    Under the new policy adopted Saturday, the use of gillnets will be phased out by 2017 in nontribal fisheries on the Columbia Basin below Bonneville Dam. The policy also includes commitments to increase the number of stocked fish in areas off the main Columbia River channel to offset reductions to commercial fishing opportunities.

    Oregon adopted similar rules in December.

    Recreational fishers say gillnets are harmful to the recovery of endangered salmon. But commercial fishers say it’ll be impossible for them to earn a living by fishing only in the limited areas where they’ll be allowed to use gillnets.

    Fewer fish to follow record sockeye year

    FISHERIES — A record 515,700 sockeye salmon was counted this year at Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department reports.

    The run count — the most since counting began at Bonneville Dam in 1938 — far exceeded the agency's preseason forecast of 462,000 fish.

    The record run translated into a record 3,400 sockeye caught by sport anglers during the summer season in river reaches below the dam. 

    So many fish reached the Upper Columbia, the Brewster pool region was covered with boats as anglers fished for their generous daily limits of six sockeye and six chinook.

    For 2013, a total of 180,500 sockeye are predicted to return to the Columbia River basin, less than half of last year's forecast.

    Downsized salmon runs predicted for Wind River, Drano Lake

    Weak returns of spring chinook salmon are predicted for the Wind River and Drano Lake in Skamania County, a not-surprising forecast given the low return expected to the Columbia River upstream of Bonneville Dam, reports Allen Thomas of the Vancouver Columbian.

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is forecasting a return of 3,000 spring chinook to the Wind River, 4,500 to Drano Lake and 2,200 to the Klickitat River.

    Those numbers compare to 5,400 in the Wind, 8,800 at Drano and 2,100 in the Klickitat in 2012.

    Given that Carson National Fish Hatchery needs about 1,500 spring chinook for spawning, it is possible there will be angling restrictions at Wind River in 2013, Thomas writes.

    Joe Hymer, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, said the two-pole rule, allowed during part of the 2012 fishery, is almost certainly gone. The angling area, expanded in 2012, might return to its former size, certain days of the week might be closed or the daily bag limit reduced.

    Read on for more details from the Columbian's report.

    Barbless hooks required Jan. 1 on much of Columbia River

    FISHING — Starting New Year’s Day, anglers will be required to use barbless hooks until further notice when fishing for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat on a large section of the Columbia River.

    The rule will affect sport fisheries from the mouth of the Columbia River – including the north jetty – upstream to the state border with Oregon, 17 miles upstream from McNary Dam, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says. 

    Under the new rule, anglers may still use single-point, double-point, or treble hooks in those waters, so long as any barbs have been filed off or pinched down.

    The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action next month on the new draft policy that includes a ban on barbed hooks and a variety of other management changes.

    State fishery managers said the immediate need for the rule is to make Washington’s fishing regulations consistent with those in Oregon, where that state’s fish and wildlife commission recently approved a broad-based measure that prohibits Oregonian license holders from using barbed hooks on the Columbia River starting Jan. 1.

    Read on for more information from the WDFW:

    Columbia River sturgeon seasons open Jan. 1

    FISHING — The winter portion of sturgeon season in Bonneville pool of the mid-Columbia River will open Jan. 1 and continue through Feb. 10 or until 1,150 fish are retained by anglers, reports Allen Thomas of the Vancouver Columbian.

    A summer portion of the retention season is anticipated in mid-June, similar to 2012.

    Washington and Oregon officials approved the Bonneville pool sturgeon sport-fishing rules on Tuesday.
     
    Read on for more details from the Columbian's story.

    Lower expectations for 2013 spring chinook returns

    FISHING —  A spring chinook run of 141,400 — the poorest in six years — is forecast to enter the Columbia River destined for upstream of Bonneville Dam,  according to figures released by Washington and Oregon fish managers this week.

    “The forecast is down from what we're used to seeing in recent years, but it's still not one of the worst ever and could be an average-size return,” said Kathryn Kostow, Oregon Fish and Wildlife and Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee chairman, comparing data back to the 1980s.

    “This is awful,’’ said Larry Snyder, president of the Vancouver Wildlife League and an avid spring chinook angler in a Vancouver Columbian story by Allen Thomas. “I don’t see a very long season this year.’’

    Preliminary numbers for summer and fall chinook heading up the Columbia look to be in good shape, but the early forecast for sockeye is about half of the record returns that prompted a huge turnout of boats this summer.

    Predictions on spring chinook returns vary wildly and can be inaccurate. Last year's forecast of 314,200, which would have been the fourth-largest since 1980, fell far short at 203,100.

    The largest spring chinook return on record was 416,500 (364,600 was the forecast) in 2001, and the worst was 9,800 (12,000) in 1995.

    The forecast in tributaries above Bonneville Dam such as Wind River, White Salmon River and Drano Lake usually come out in late January.

    Fishing seasons will be decided Jan. 30 by state, federal and tribal fishery managers in Portland. 

    Lower Columbia gillnet plan could affect anglers on East Side, Idaho

    FISHING — As Oregon and Washington consider banning gill nets from the lower Columbia River, some worry the move could have unintended and negative consequences on salmon fisheries in Idaho and Eastern Washington.

    Check out this report by the Columbia Basin Bulletin.

    Commisions consider eliminating gillnets on lower Columbia

    FISHERIES — A work group comprised of Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife commissioners on Thursday agreed on recommendations that would change state management of lower Columbia River fisheries by eliminating the use commercial gill nets by non-tribal fishers on the mainstem lower Columbia River.

    A report in the Columbia Basin Bulletin says commercial fishing advocates testifying during a meeting of the work group in Seaside, Ore., said such a decision would be the death knell for the industry and the businesses it supports. They said it would pull salmon from the mouths of non-anglers who buy their salmon in the market or order it at restaurants.

    Sport fishing interests said the move is necessary to buoy conservation efforts aimed at reviving wild, protected steelhead and salmon caught indiscriminately in fish-choking nets.

    Fisheries reform may not boost upper Columbia angling

    FISHING — Our recent report on the reaction to drastic changes proposed for Columbia River commercial and recreational fisheries has prompted a heads up for anglers in the upper Columbia River.

    The comment on lower Columbia River fisheries reform being debated by Washington and Oregon comes from Paul Lumley, executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission:

    A recent story in The Spokesman-Review paints the Columbia River’s Lower River Fisheries Reform process as a potential boon for fishermen in the upper Columbia. Certainly a boon for fishermen in the lower Columbia, the proposal has yet to pass the sniff test.

    At this point, the “boon” for Eastern Washington fishermen is little more than wishful thinking. The states have not provided any credible harvest impacts analysis to their peers in federal and tribal governments, nor to the public.

    If the region wants to increase recreational fishing opportunities we need to be working together to rebuild abundance. The region has demonstrated that cooperation can rebuild abundant naturally spawning fall chinook in Hanford Reach, which now support fisheries from Kennewick to Ketchikan. 

    By all indications, the proposal is not about conservation, it is about providing even more to an already voracious lower river recreational fishery. Real conservation will come from us working together and restoring salmon passage in the upper Columbia Basin. This, along with other actions, will rebuild abundance. Abundance allows everyone to go fishing, not just fishermen in the lower Columbia 

    New rule: any hatchery steelhead OK on Hanford Reach

    FISHING —Starting immediately, anglers can keep any hatchery steelhead on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has just announced.

    This action removes the requirement for both an adipose fin clip and ventral fin clip for hatchery steelhead retained prior to Nov. 1. The Lower Hanford Reach will remain open for hatchery steelhead fishing after Oct. 31 under the current permanent regulation listed in the fishing rules pamphlet (Page 74) and is scheduled to run through March 31.

    Read on for more details from WDFW.

    Steelheading opens Tuesday on Upper Columbia and tribs

    FISHING – Starting Tuesday (Oct. 16), hatchery steelhead fisheries will open on the mainstem upper Columbia, Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan rivers, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

    In addition, the Similkameen River will open to hatchery steelhead retention beginning Nov. 1.

    All of these fisheries will remain open until further notice.

    Jeff Korth, regional fish manager for WDFW, said approximately 18,000 adult steelhead are expected to return to the upper Columbia River this year – enough to allow the department to open area steelhead fisheries.

    However, wild steelhead are expected to return in lower numbers than last year, requiring additional constraints on those fisheries.

    “We carefully manage these fisheries to protect naturally spawning steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act,” Korth said. “These fisheries traditionally remain open through the winter, but with lower numbers of wild steelhead and tighter allowable impacts on those fish we may have to close early.”

    Korth said anglers should check WDFW’s website throughout the season for any regulation changes.

    Read on for details about the fish you can and cannot keep, and specifically where fishing is allowed.

    Kennewick Man Not Native American

    Not only was the ancient human known as Kennewick Man not Native American, he was not even from the Columbia River valley where his bones were found, according to the scientist who led the court battle to study his remains. The more than 9,300-year-old skeleton is at the center of a yearslong rift between scientists who want to examine it and tribes who claim it and are seeking to have it reburied. On Tuesday, Columbia Plateau tribal representatives invited Doug Owsley, a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, to meet with them and discuss his findings. Owsley said isotopes in the bones indicate Kennewick Man was a hunter of marine mammals, such as seals/AP. More here.

    Question: How would you like it if one of your ancestors proved to be a fraud?

    Sockeye regaining ground throughout Columbia region

    FISHERIES More than a century after their runs up the Cle Elum River were wiped out by dams, the sockeye are spawning again this year, thanks to a boost from fisheries programs.

    Meantime, the Yakama Nation is in the fourth year of spearheading an effort to reintroduce this prized salmon species back into the Yakima River Basin. 

    Sockeyes bound for the Wenatchee and Okanogan rivers were trapped at Priest Rapids Dam about three months ago and trucked them to Lake Cle Elum for release. A total of 10,000 wild sockeye were released in the lake this year, a number that has grown steadily each year because of the abundance of the Columbia River sockeye run. The Yakama Nation plans to harvest fish at Priest Rapids after the overall run reaches 80,000 fish.

    Ultimately, the program seeks to establish a self-sustaining run of Yakima River sockeye that will allow for a sport fishery.

    The total Columbia River run this year approached 600,000 fish as daily counts set June records at Bonneville Dam.

    See more in this report by the Yakima Herald-Republic.

    Salmon fishing to close on Wenatchee, mainstem Columbia rivers

    FISHING — Salmon fishing will close on the Wenatchee River and portions of the Columbia River after sunset on Sunday, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced today.

    Locations:  Wenatchee River from the mouth (confluence with the Columbia River) to the Icicle Road bridge near the west end of Leavenworth, and mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to Chief Joseph Dam.

    Species affected:  Chinook and sockeye salmon.

    Reason for action:The salmon fishery is approaching allowable limits of incidental impacts to ESA-listed steelhead under the Permit 1554, which covers the summer chinook and sockeye fisheries. 

    Other information:  The fall chinook fisheries below Rock Island Dam and the summer chinook fishery in the Chelan River are not affected by this closure.  Please check WDFW's “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet and emergency regulations on the department's website for details on all permanent fishing seasons and regulations for those waters.

    Lake Roosevelt water levels holding steady

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1283.70 at 9 a.m. today (Sept. 28).

    The lake level is expected to remain in the 1283-1284 range through next week.

    These are only predictions are subject to change.

    Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.