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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Spring chinook fishing to open in Columbia above Bonneville

Erika Holmes holds a bright spring chinook she caught on the lower Columbia River. (Jeff Holmes)
Erika Holmes holds a bright spring chinook she caught on the lower Columbia River. (Jeff Holmes)

FISHING – Starting Saturday, May 31, anglers will get two more weeks to catch hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon and steelhead in waters of the Columbia River stretching more than 160 miles upriver from Bonneville Dam.

Recreational fishing closed in that area May 9, but fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have just announced an extension through June 15 after transferring a portion of the upriver spring chinook allocation from the ongoing fishery below Bonneville Dam.

That reallocation of 750 harvestable salmon will allow anglers to fish for spring chinook above the dam right up until the summer salmon season starts June 16, said Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

As before, anglers are limited to one adult hatchery chinook salmon as part of their daily catch limit of two adult fish. All sockeye salmon must be released, along with wild salmon and wild steelhead identifiable by an intact adipose fin.

For boat anglers, the fishing area above Bonneville Dam extends from the Tower Island power lines upriver to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles upriver from McNary Dam. Bank anglers can also fish in that area, plus along the bank between Bonneville Dam and the power lines.

Based on the latest run projection, state fishery managers expect 230,000 upriver spring chinook to return to the Columbia River this year. That projection – based on a combination of catch figures and the count of fish passing the dams – is up slightly from the 227,000 expected before the season began.

For more information on updates to state fishing rules, see WDFW’s Fishing Rule Change website.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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