NCW — Fisheries in the Upper Columbia River will open July 16 for summer chinook fishing.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife closed fishing for summer chinook in April as forecasts showed returns would be too low this year. The returns are a little better than expected so far — maybe 10,000 more fish — but still not great, said Chad Jackson, state Department of Fish and Wildlife fish program manager.
The fisheries will be opened because there is a surplus of hatchery fish, in particular to the Entiat and Chelan Falls fisheries, not needed for spawning, Jackson said.
The state also wants to remove some summer chinook in the Entiat River to prevent them from competing for spawning ground with spring chinook.
Upper Columbia River spring chinook are listed federally as endangered.
Starting July 16 these fisheries will be open:
From the top of Rocky Reach Dam to 400 feet below the bypass channels around Wells Dam. People can fish for a daily limit of six chinook, minimum size 12 inches. No more than two hatchery adults may be retained a day, and wild adult chinook, sockeye and coho must be released. The use of barbless hooks is voluntary and a two-pole endorsement can be used. The fishery closes Oct. 15.
At the Entiat River from the mouth to 1,500 feet upstream of the upper Roaring Creek Road Bridge. People can fish for a daily limit of six chinook, minimum size 12 inches, but must release sockeye and coho. A night closure is in effect and the use of barbless hooks is voluntary. The fishery closes Sept. 30.
On the Chelan River from the mouth to the Chelan PUD’s safety barrier below the Chelan PUD Powerhouse Station. People can fish for a daily limit of six chinook, minimum size 12 inches. No more than two hatchery adult chinook may be retained, and they must release wild chinook, sockeye and coho. People can’t fish at night or snag fish, and the use of barbless hooks is voluntary. The fishery closes Oct. 15.
The state agency will be monitoring the season closely and could close the fisheries again if necessary, according to the news release.