Chinook fishing lovers will have to hurry towards River Columbia as they can fish only for 2 days, 19th and 20th May, i.e. this weekend! They will get a chance to fish on a 163 miles section of the river, upstream from Bonneville Dam. They have also been permitted to keep two adult fish per day which should be hatchery marked. Rest all the wild and unmarked fish have to be released unhurt.
Washington and Oregon fishery managers have agreed to the 2-day opening when it was observed that the upriver spring Chinook run forecast went up from 202,000 to 216,500.
Cindy LeFleur, policy manager of Columbia River for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) told that additional openings may be considered by the two states, above and below Bonneville Dam, provided the assessed size of spring Chinook run of this year keeps on rising. Therefore, now all are eagerly observing the counting of fish on Bonneville Dam. LeFleur said that the run is one of the most recent on record and so the count of spring Chinook should be gauged from one week to the next.
About 800 spring Chinook salmon from hatcheries are still present for harvesting in the section of the river opened for fishing.
Bank and boat anglers can enjoy fishing 17 miles upriver from the McNary Dam, from the Tower Island to the Washington-Oregon state line on these two days. Bank anglers are also permitted to fish from the powerlines downriver up to Bonneville Dam. These waters have been disallowed for fishing since 6th May due to pending run assessment.
According to Lefleur, the fishery managers will probably meet on 22nd May to analyze a possibility of permitting excessive fishing time above and below Bonneville Dam. If there is any new opening, it will be announced on the website of WDFW, http://wdfw.wa.gov/ and on the Fishing Hotline of the department, 360-902-2500.