Oregon and Washington just adopted spring Chinook salmon and sturgeon fishing seasons for the Columbia and Willamette rivers yesterday during a joint state hearing, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
The Columbia River spring Chinook seasons are based on a forecast of 470,000 returning upriver spring Chinook, said ODFW. As a conservative measure, the two states decided to adopt a 40 percent buffer, leaving a combined harvest guideline of 17,200 fish in the sport fishery downstream of Bonneville Dam. Similarly, the sturgeon seasons are based on a recreational harvest guideline of 19,200 fish, including 3,600 in the Willamette.
Apparently, several fisheries, including those in the Willamette River and in the Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and the river mouth, are currently open under permanent rules and will remain open through February. The seasons adopted today will take effect March 1.
ODFW and WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) have divided the two rivers into various sections, and the season dates vary depending on where along each river anglers choose to fish. For an exhaustive list of locations with their respective dates, see ODFW’s press release. Most locations along the rivers will open at the beginning of March, so use this next week to prepare and replenish your fishing equipment.
For more news, advice, and information about fishing gear, visit our Fishing section.