Columbia River Chinook Opening
April 1, 2019
Third weekend opening planned for Columbia River spring chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam
OLYMPIA – For the third weekend in a row, a section of the lower Columbia River will reopen for two days of recreational spring chinook salmon fishing beginning Saturday, state fishery managers announced today.
The initial spring chinook fishing period from Bonneville Dam downriver to Warrior Rock closed at midnight Wednesday, April 10, then reopened for the weekends beginning April 13 and 20, based on catch and run estimates at that time.
High, turbid waters have created challenging fishing conditions for anglers, with difficult conditions likely to continue into early May. Fishery managers estimate that recreational harvest remains well below pre-season expectations. Fish counts at Bonneville Dam to date have also been below expectations.
"Water conditions have made fishing difficult in April, but we want to provide opportunity when we can," said Bill Tweit, special assistant with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "These weekend openings offer that opportunity while allowing us to maintain a conservative approach to this important fishery."
The fishery will reopen for spring chinook on April 27 and 28 on the Columbia River upstream from the Warrior Rock boundary line to Bonneville Dam. The lower river DOWNSTREAM from Warrior Rock remains closed to fishing for salmon, steelhead, and Shad.
Anglers may retain two adult salmon, two steelhead, or one of each per day, but only one salmon may be a chinook. Only hatchery fish may be retained.
Waters above Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington state line above McNary Dam remain open to salmon fishing through May 5.
Anglers are reminded that the use of barbless hooks is required when fishing for salmon and steelhead in these areas.