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Tuesday, September 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Summer Chinook salmon fishing to open in July on much of Columbia River

With the summer Chinook salmon run exceeding preseason expectations, large portions of the Columbia River will open to recreational chinook fishing in July, fishery managers with WDFW announced Wednesday. 

The opening dates and daily limits for the Columbia River are as follows:

  • From the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco: July 4-8. Daily limit six salmon. Up to two may be adult hatchery Chinook. Minimum size 12 inches. Anglers must release all steelhead and salmon except hatchery Chinook. 
  • From the Interstate 182 bridge to Priest Rapids Dam: July 4-31. Daily limit six salmon. Up to two adults may be retained. Minimum size 12 inches. Release wild adult chinook and coho.
  • From Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam: July 4-Aug. 31. Daily limit six salmon. Up to two may be adult hatchery chinook and up to two may be sockeye. Minimum size 12 inches. Release wild adult chinook and coho.
  • From Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam: July 4-Oct. 15. Daily limit six salmon. Up to two may be adult hatchery chinook and up to two may be sockeye. Minimum size 12 inches. Release wild adult chinook and coho.
  • From Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster: July 16-Sept. 15. Daily limit six salmon. Up to two may be adult hatchery chinook and up to two may be sockeye. Minimum size 12 inches. Release wild adult chinook and coho.
  • From the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster to the rock jetty at the upstream shoreline of Foster Creek (Douglas County side): July 4-Oct. 15, 2020. Daily limit six salmon. Up to two may be adult hatchery chinook and up to two may be sockeye. Minimum size 12 inches. Release wild adult chinook and coho.

The preseason forecast for summer chinook at the mouth of the Columbia River was 38,000 fish, but managers on Monday upgraded the forecast to 65,000 based on returns so far. Washington and Oregon fishery managers agreed in a hearing Tuesday that the run could support a brief opening on the mainstem, said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with the WDFW. Managers will reassess the fishery early next week with updated catch estimates.

Sockeye and steelhead fishing closed on the lower Columbia River mainstem below the Highway 395 bridge in late June after early sockeye catch rates exceeded expectations. Steelhead fishing remains closed below the Highway 395 bridge, as it would likely result in additional impacts to sockeye.

The Entiat and Chelan rivers will also open for chinook on July 16; see the emergency rules page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ for more information, and for updates to other fisheries.

Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon downstream of the Washington/Oregon border; barbed hooks are permitted above the border. See all rules and regulations in the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

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