CLACKAMAS — In an effort to keep the Columbia River Buoy 10 Chinook fishery open through the Labor Day weekend, fishery managers decided to limit Chinook harvest to hatchery adipose fin-clipped fish only beginning this past Monday.
Thanks to excellent fishing early in the season, anglers are quickly approaching the number of allowable impacts on ESA-listed wild tule Chinook, the limiting factor for the Chinook fishery. Managers hope today’s action will extend the Chinook fishery through Sept. 7 as originally scheduled.
“This year’s Buoy 10 fishery started out strong, with very high catch rates and a near-record level of angler participation,” said Chris Kern, ODFW fish division deputy administrator. “Limiting harvest to hatchery fish should allow Chinook anglers to keep fishing through the holiday weekend.”
Catch in the Buoy 10 fishery through Aug. 20 includes 18,600 Chinook kept during 46,600 angler trips, and mangers expect the good fishing to continue.
Under the rules adopted today:
· Effective this past Monday through Monday, Sept. 7 only adipose fin-clipped Chinook may be retained.
· The overall daily bag limit will continue to be two adult hatchery salmon or steelhead, in combination, only one of which may be a Chinook. All wild steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon must be released. As in all years, all jack salmon caught between Tongue Point and Buoy 10 must be released through Sept. 30.
· Anglers may transport un-clipped Chinook salmon caught in adjacent fisheries (such as the ocean or the Columbia River above Tongue Point) through the Buoy 10 area, but cannot fish in Buoy 10 with an un-clipped salmon on board.
All Chinook retention in the Buoy 10 area is scheduled to close Sept. 8-30. However, managers will be monitoring the fishery and an earlier closure is possible if effort and harvest rates continue to be high. Visit the ODFW web page for in-season updates.
In the meantime, managers are predicting over half a million coho will be returning to the mouth of the Columbia and anglers can look forward to some good coho fishing at Buoy 10, Kern said.