WASHINGTON EXPANDS CHINOOK SEASON

chinookColumbia River anglers in Washington can now catch and keep chinook salmon for three extra days, from September 16-18. Fishery managers announced that anglers can target chinook for the additional days in the section below the Lewis River downriver to the Rocky Point-Tongue Point line.

Chinook fishing will also reopen September 16, two weeks ahead of schedule, in the Buoy 10 area, which includes the lower 16 miles of the Columbia River. The daily catch limit in both areas will be two adult salmon or hatchery steelhead, or one of each.

Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River Policy Coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said the new openings will give anglers another chance to catch upriver bright chinook salmon still moving up the river in large numbers. Although fishery managers today lowered their expectation for the upriver bright run — from 399,000 fish to 354,000 — LeFleur said there are still an abundance of chinook available for harvest.

"The run is still going strong and we know anglers are eager for another chance to catch those fish in the lower river,"
she said.

Since September 10, anglers have been allowed to retain hatchery-reared coho salmon and steelhead, but have been required to release any chinook salmon they intercept from the Lewis River downstream to the Rocky Point-Tongue Point line. Fishing for chinook salmon in the Buoy 10 area, previously set to reopen October 1, has been closed since August 28. Chinook fishing on Columbia River will reopen below the Lewis River.

For more information visit wdfw.wa.gov.