FISHING -- With plenty of salmon upriver, the limits on fall chinook are being increased this week in the upper Columbia. Here's the announcement from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Effective date: Oct. 12 through Nov. 30, 2016.
Location: Mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.
General rules and daily limits:
Six chinook salmon, whether or not they have a clipped adipose fin, of which only three may be adult chinook. Release coho salmon.
- Minimum size 12 inches.
- Selective gear rules, except bait allowed.
- Night closure upstream of Rock Island Dam.
- Two poles allowed with Two-Pole Endorsement.
- Release chinook salmon that have a ¼ inch diameter (round) hole punched in the upper lobe of the caudal (tail) fin.
Reason for actions: Over 35,000 chinook – primarily from the Hanford Reach fall chinook hatchery programs – will likely have returned above Priest Rapids Dam, including over 9,000 above Rock Island Dam. The intent of the fishery is the removal of excess hatchery fall chinook from the Upper Columbia River Basin. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Fall chinook salmon with caudal fin hole punches have been sedated in a chemical anesthetic, and must be released.
Other information: Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead.
All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.