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States set Columbia summer/fall salmon seasons

Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2016 summer and fall salmon seasons for the Columbia River.

Summer Chinook fisheries will begin June 16, with a daily bag limit of two hatchery Chinook. The season is expected to remain open through the summer management period, ending on July 31.

The 2016 fall salmon seasons are based on a strong projected return of 960,000 fall Chinook, and include Chinook retention through Labor Day in the popular Buoy 10 fishery, plus two additional any-Chinook retention days between Tongue Point and Warrior Rock.

Fall season modifications include:

Buoy 10 – Retention of adult Chinook allowed Aug. 1 through Sept. 5 (Labor Day) but only adipose fin-clipped Chinook may be harvested on Sundays and Mondays during this period.

Tongue Point upstream to Warrior Rock – Two any Chinook retention days (Sept. 8-9) added.

Warrior Rock upstream to the OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam) - the daily bag limit for adult salmon will be two fish.

As in recent years, the “boat limit” rule will be in place from Buoy 10 upstream to the Oregon/Washington border. Salmon anglers fishing from the same boat may continue fishing until all licensed anglers have reached their daily limits.

Impacts to ESA-listed Chinook stocks remain the major constraint for all fall season lower Columbia River fisheries.

“Based on the performance of the last several years, we anticipate a very productive Buoy 10 fishery,” said Chris Kern, ODFW deputy administrator for Columbia and Marine programs. “By implementing mark-selective Chinook regulations on Sundays and Mondays throughout the Buoy 10 season we hope to reduce the chance of an emergency closure.” Oregon and Washington staff will closely monitor the fishery and if possible, may propose removing the adipose-only requirement later in the season.

Given the limitation on Upriver Bright fall Chinook, the area upstream of Warrior Rock will have the traditional two adult Chinook per day bag limit for the 2016 season. The 2016 forecast for the upper Columbia River is 93,000 fish, a strong return, but less than the modern record of 127,000 upriver fish last year.

Summer steelhead forecasts in 2016 remain low, and to avoid closures, daily bag limits may need to be reduced at times and in some areas to keep steelhead opportunities open through the season.

Anglers should be alert for potential modifications to steelhead bag limits and in-season changes to Chinook retention rules. Regulation updates are available on the ODFW website at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/columbia.asp

Here are the detailed regulations for the 2016 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons:

Summer season*

Summer Chinook and Sockeye

The area downstream of the Astoria-Megler Bridge is closed for salmon and steelhead during the June 16-July 31 period.

The area from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam) is open June 16-July 31 for retention of: sockeye, adult hatchery Chinook, hatchery Chinook jacks, and hatchery steelhead. Closed for Coho.

The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids and five jacks. All sockeye are considered adults and must be recorded as adults on the combined angling tag.

All other permanent rules apply.

Fall Season*

Buoy 10

Area definition: From the Buoy 10 line upstream to a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to red 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.

August 1 – September 5: Retention of adult Chinook (24-inches or longer) is allowed but is restricted to adipose fin-clipped fish only on all Sundays and Mondays (11 days; August 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, and September 4-5) during this period. The daily bag limit is two salmonids, only one of which may be a Chinook.

September 6 – 30: Retention of Chinook is prohibited. The daily bag limit is two salmonids (hatchery Coho/steelhead only).

October 1 – December 31: Retention of any adult Chinook is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids and five jacks.

Chinook jacks and hatchery Coho jacks () may only be retained October 1– December 31 under permanent rules.

All other permanent rules, including the Youngs Bay Control Zone, apply.

Lower Columbia – Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island

Area definition: From a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington shore through red buoy #44 to the red marker #2 at Tongue Point on the Oregon shore upstream to a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island. August 1 – December 31: Retention of hatchery Coho and hatchery steelhead allowed.

August 1 – September 9: Retention of any Chinook is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids (only one of which may be a Chinook), and five jacks.

September 10 – 14: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) restricted to hatchery fish only. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids (only one of which may be a Chinook), and five jacks.

September 15 – 30: Retention of Chinook (adults and jacks) is prohibited. The daily bag limit is two adult hatchery Coho/steelhead and five Coho jacks.

October 1 – December 31: Retention of any Chinook is allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids and five jacks.

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.

All other permanent rules apply.

Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island (lower Columbia) upstream to the OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam)

Area definition: From a line projected from the Warrior Rock Lighthouse on the Oregon shore through red buoy #4 to a marker on the lower end of Bachelor Island upstream to the OR/WA border (upstream of McNary Dam).

August 1 – December 31: Retention of Chinook, Coho, and hatchery steelhead allowed. The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids and five jacks.

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.

All other permanent rules apply.

* Seasons may be subject to in-season modification.

A hatchery fish is defined as a salmon, steelhead or trout from which the adipose fin has been removed (clipped) leaving a healed scar. Also known as adipose fin-clipped.

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