The state Department of Fish and Wildlife just announced that beginning on Monday anglers will have to release any chinook they catch in the Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River.
Here is part of the news release:
The new rule, approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon, does not affect fishing for hatchery-reared coho salmon or steelhead in the river.
High catch rates – particularly for upriver bright chinook – prompted both states to end retention of chinook salmon in the Buoy 10 fishery a week earlier than planned, said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"We really haven’t seen catch rates like these at Buoy 10 since the late 1980s," said LeFleur, noting that some chinook caught in recent weeks have weighed nearly 50 pounds. "We have to make sure we leave enough harvestable chinook for sport fisheries further upriver."
The Buoy 10 fishing area extends 16 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point Line.
By Monday, fishery managers estimate that anglers will have caught approximately 5,900 chinook salmon in that area – somewhat short of the total chinook allocation of 6,500 fish for the season. But the catch of upriver bright chinook is expected to meet or exceed the 1,250-fish target for that stock, LeFleur said.