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CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Oregon and Washington fishery managers recently announced seasons and regulations for 2019 summer and fall Columbia River fisheries.
Although coho returns are projected to be much better than recent runs, below-average projections for summer Chinook, fall Chinook, sockeye, and upriver summer steelhead will require another year of reduced seasons and bag limits, and in some cases closures for these runs.
The summer season will be limited to steelhead retention. The weak summer Chinook forecast of 35,900 fish returning to the Columbia River would be the lowest return since 2000 and too small to provide for directed harvest in non-treaty fisheries. Similar to 2018, sockeye retention will also be prohibited due to projected low escapement.
The fall seasons will start Aug. 1 based on a projected return of 349,700 fall Chinook, which is almost 20% higher than the actual return of 293,400 last year. This year’s forecast includes 159,250 upriver bright Chinook, compared to a return of 149,000 in 2018. The allowed harvest rate of 8.25 percent on this stock is down from 15 percent available during many recent years, resulting in shorter fall Chinook retention seasons.
“The reduced harvest rate for upriver bright fall Chinook has made it challenging to design fall recreational fisheries the last two years,” said John North, fisheries manager for ODFW’s Columbia River Program. “Working with the public in the recent season-setting process, we tried to balance opportunity with management constraints for fall Chinook and steelhead”.
Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, additional protective regulations are needed this fall including a one steelhead daily bag limit and area-specific steelhead retention closures. The rolling 1-2 month closures start in August and progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. These closures affect the mainstem Columbia and the lower reaches of specific tributaries.
For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit ODFW’s online fishing reports at Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.
The following are detailed regulations for the 2019 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:
Summary of 2019 Summer/Fall Salmon and Steelhead regulations
for the mainstem Columbia River
All regulations may be subject to in-season modification
Summer Season (June 16 – July 31)
Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)
Retention of Chinook and sockeye prohibited.
Retention of hatchery steelhead allowed. The daily bag limit is two hatchery steelhead through June 30 and one hatchery steelhead July 1-31.
Night angling closure in effect*.
Fall Seasons (August 1 – December 31)
Buoy 10
Area definition:From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red navigation buoy #44 to red navigation marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (16-inches or longer) and hatchery steelhead allowed except all steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released August 1-31. Night angling closure in effect*. All other permanent rules apply. Daily bag limits by time period are described below:
August 1 – August 20: Retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids (Chinook and hatchery coho only), and may include up to one Chinook. All steelhead must be released.
August 21 – August 31: Retention of all Chinook and all steelhead prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery coho.
September 1 – September 30: Retention of all Chinook prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only), and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
October 1 – December 31: Retention of all Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only), and may include up to one hatchery steelhead. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained**.
Lower Columbia: Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to west Puget Island
Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red navigation buoy #44 to the red navigation marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line at the west end of Puget Island extending from green navigation marker #39 on the Washington shore to green navigation marker #41, then to red navigation marker #42, and terminating at red navigation marker #44A on the Oregon shore.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed except all steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released August 1-31. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Night angling closure in effect*. All other permanent rules apply. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below:
August 1 – August 20: Retention of adult (longer than 24-inches) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook and hatchery coho only). All steelhead must be released.
August 21 – August 31: Retention of all Chinook and all steelhead prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery coho.
September 1 – December 31: Retention of all Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
Lower Columbia: West Puget Island upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island
Area definition: From a line at the west end of Puget Island extending from green navigation marker #39 on the Washington shore to green navigation marker #41, then to red navigation marker #42, and terminating at red navigation marker #44A on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red navigation buoy #4, then to the piling dolphin on the lower end of Bachelor Island.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed except all steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released August 1-31. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Night angling closure in effect*. All other permanent rules apply. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below:
August 1 – August 27: Retention of adult (longer than 24-inches) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook and hatchery coho only). All steelhead must be released.
August 28 – August 31: Retention of all Chinook and all steelhead prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery coho.
September 1 – December 31: Retention of all Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
Lower Columbia: Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam
Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore to red navigation buoy #4, then to the piling dolphin on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to Bonneville Dam.
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult hatchery coho (longer than 20-inches), and hatchery steelhead allowed except all steelhead (hatchery and wild) must be released August 1-31. Hatchery coho jacks may be retained. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Night angling closure in effect*. All other permanent rules apply. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below:
August 1 – August 31: Retention of adult (longer than 24-inches) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook and hatchery coho only). All steelhead must be released.
September 1 – September 8: Retention of adult (longer than 24-inches) and jack Chinook allowed. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, hatchery coho, and hatchery steelhead).
September 9 – December 31: Retention of all Chinook prohibited. The daily adult bag limit is two hatchery salmonids (coho and steelhead only) and may include up to one hatchery steelhead.
Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam
August 1 – December 31: Retention of adult (longer than 20-inches) and jack coho allowed. All coho (adults and jacks) retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Night angling closure in effect*. All other permanent rules apply. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below:
Effective August 1, retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and Chinook jacks allowed but will be managed in-season based on actual catches and the upriver bright fall Chinook run-size. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, coho, and hatchery steelhead), except:
Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam: Release all steelhead (hatchery and wild) from August 1 – 31.
The Dalles Dam to John Day Dam: Release all steelhead (hatchery and wild) from August 1 – September 30.
John Day Dam to McNary Dam: Release all steelhead (hatchery and wild) from September 1 – October 31.
McNary Dam upstream to the Hwy 395 Bridge
August 1 – December 31: Retention of any adult (longer than 20-inches) and jack coho allowed. Each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid bag limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved. Night angling closure in effect*. All other permanent rules apply. Daily adult bag limits by time period are described below:
Effective August 1, retention of adult Chinook (longer than 24-inches) and Chinook jacks allowed but will be managed in-season based on actual catches and the upriver bright fall Chinook run-size. The daily adult bag limit is one salmonid (Chinook, coho, and hatchery steelhead), except release all steelhead (hatchery and wild) October 1 – November 30.
*Unlawful to angle for or take salmon, shad, steelhead, sturgeon, trout, or whitefish except during daylight hours (one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset).
** The daily bag limit for jack salmon in Oregon is five fish.
Summary of 2019 Summer/Fall Salmon and Steelhead regulations
for Oregon Columbia River tributaries
Deschutes River (downstream of Moody Rapids)
June 16 – December 31: one steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit except closed to steelhead retention August 1 – September 30.
John Day River (downstream of Tumwater Falls)
June 16 – December 31: one steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit except closed to steelhead retention September 1 – October 31.
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