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Columbia River to remain open to spring chinook angling through May 15

PORTLAND — Oregon and Washington managers today kept the Columbia River spring chinook sport fishery below the Interstate 5 Bridge and above Bonneville Dam open four days a week through May 15.

The main stem Columbia River remains open to angling for adipose fin-clipped salmon, adipose fin-clipped steelhead, and shad from the mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to the Interstate 5 Bridge Wednesday through Saturday.

Today’s action was possible because the allowed impacts to wild runs from sport and commercial fisheries have not yet been reached.

In addition, fishery managers kept open the spring chinook season above Bonneville Dam during the same four days per week. The area from the Tower Island power lines (about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam) upstream to McNary Dam is open Wednesday through Saturday. The upriver fishery also closes after Thursday, May 15. The Oregon bank is open under the same four day per week rules between Bonneville Dam and the Tower Island power lines.

On Friday, May 16, the lower Columbia River will open to the harvest of adipose fin-clipped steelhead, adipose fin-clipped jack chinook salmon and shad seven days a week below the Interstate 5 Bridge. The river above Interstate 5 Bridge will open to shad angling May 16, but will not open to adipose fin-clipped steelhead and adipose fin-clipped jack chinook salmon until June 16. The entire river closes to sockeye salmon fishing May 16.

The Columbia River sport and commercial fisheries are managed to limit impacts to wild spring chinook listed as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Anglers may harvest only those fish that are marked as hatchery-bred with a missing adipose fin. However, some unmarked wild fish suffer a delayed mortality as a result of being handled. The allowable non-tribal impact for 2003 was set at 2 percent of the wild upriver spring chinook run. The most recent forecast estimated 193,000 ‘upriver’ wild and hatchery spring chinook and 109,800 hatchery and wild Willamette stock would enter the Columbia this year.
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