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Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing Season Set;
Fall Chinook Predictions Are Out

by Staff
The Oregonian, February 26, 2022

Snake River Steelhead Triggers Early Warning Indicator, NOAA is trying to ignore that fact. Spring chinook salmon fishing will last a little longer this year than 2021 in the lower Columbia River; and anglers won't see a repeat of the Cowlitz River bubble.

Biologists met Wednesday and set an initial sportfishing season from Tuesday through April 6 below Bonneville Dam, with a one-hatchery (only) chinook daily bag within a two-salmonid daily limit that could include hatchery steelhead. The area is already open under permanent regulations.

Above Bonneville to the Washington/Oregon border, fishing will be allowed from April 1 through May 5 with the same daily restrictions.

Although it's only two days longer than last year's first closure on April 4, biologists were constrained by a continued difference in fish and wildlife commission policies about how many salmon are available to catch.

"I'm not happy," said Tucker Jones, Columbia River program manager for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Meanwhile, the states released fall chinook predictions Tuesday afternoon and while some of the numbers are significantly down, there appear to be enough fish returning to the Columbia River mouth to support fair to good fishing in several areas.

There also remains a relatively robust coho return forecast for the ocean and rivers from the Columbia south along much of the coast.

State and federal agencies will sort out remaining season proposals for the Columbia -- summer and fall chinook, sockeye and coho -- by late March and then the ocean in early April.


Sea lions: Are beginning to appear in the lower Willamette River, but so far none have entered traps below the falls at Oregon City. Most seem to be staying in the lower river. On Feb. 18, a survey found 21 large Steller sea lions between the falls and the river's mouth, but only 11 a week later. A few smaller Californias were seen recently below the falls, but were no longer there Wednesday. A convenient reporting link for anglers and others has been added to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Web site. See the "user guide" under

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Related Pages:
Washington Closes Part of Snake to Steelhead Fishing by Staff, Lewiston Tribune, 9/3/21
Stretch of Columbia River Closing to Salmon, Steelhead Fishing by Bill Monroe, The Oregonian, 9/2/21
Idaho Allows Limited Steelhead Season by Staff, Lewiston Tribune, 9/2/21
Amid Poor Runs, Idaho Officials Propose Limited Steelhead Harvest by Staff, Lewiston Tribune, 8/31/21
Spring Offers Big Steelhead Fishing Opportunities in Smaller Rivers by Idaho Fish & Game, EIN Presswire, 2/18/21
Steelhead Closure Extended In Eastern Oregon by Staff, KXI, 12/26/19
Steelhead Closure Extended on Columbia River by Staff, The Astorian, 12/23/19
Limited Steelhead Season Approved by Staff, Moscow-Pulmman Daily News, 12/19/19

Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing Season Set; Fall Chinook Predictions Are Out
The Oregonian, February 26, 2022

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