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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Salmon, steelhead fisheries on Columbia restricted

A coho salmon, left, and a Chinook salmon swim past viewing windows at a fish ladder where salt water transitions to fresh at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

State fishery managers declared a night closure for salmon and steelhead fishing last week on a large stretch of the Columbia River and two of its tributaries, according to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife news release.

Starting Saturday August 18, anglers must release any steelhead they intercept in Drano Lake or the Wind River, where steelhead are known to linger to escape warm-water conditions in the mainstem Columbia River.

Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River coordinator for the WDFW, said those measures were prompted by lower-than-expected passage of summer steelhead at Bonneville Dam and concerns about warmer than normal water.

Midway through the run, the count of both hatchery and wild steelhead passing the dam is short of what’s needed to reach the preseason projection of 190,350 fish, he said in the release.

“Under these circumstances, it is important that we take some precautionary measures to protect steelhead as they move upriver,” Lothrop said.

The new fishing rule will remain in effect until further notice in the following waters: The Columbia River from Buoy 10 near the river’s mouth upriver to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco. Drano Lake and the Wind River: The night closure and the steelhead-fishing closure will both be in effect in Drano Lake and from the mouth of the Wind River to 400 feet below the Shipherd Falls fish ladder.