Category: Washington Fishing Reports

Anglers can keep hatchery sturgeon starting April 29th in the upper Columbia River

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OLYMPIA – Beginning April 29, recreational anglers will again have an opportunity to harvest hatchery sturgeon from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs, state fishery managers announced today.

This is the third opening of the fishery in the upper Columbia River, said Chad Jackson, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Not only does this fishery provide a great opportunity for anglers but it’s also helping our efforts to recover white sturgeon populations by reducing their interactions with these hatchery fish,” Jackson said.

Several thousand juvenile sturgeon were released into the upper Columbia River in the early 2000s. Those fish have grown to harvestable size, prompting WDFW to open a fishery in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.

WDFW is implementing a size restriction for this fishery that is designed to target hatchery-origin sturgeon, while protecting larger wild fish, Jackson said.

Between April 29 and Sept. 1, anglers will be allowed to retain two hatchery sturgeon daily that are between 38 and 72 inches (fork-length) in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs. Sturgeon caught in these reservoirs will not count toward an angler’s annual limit for sturgeon. Anglers will not be required to record sturgeon harvested from the two reservoirs on their catch record cards. 

Anglers may fish for sturgeon with two poles with the purchase of a two-pole endorsement.

More details about this fishery can be found on WDFW’s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

 

 

WDFW Commission will hear comments on hunting seasons, Columbia River fisheries at Wenatchee meeting March 15th-17th


 

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will invite public comments on 2018-2020 hunting season proposals, Columbia River fisheries policy, and other issues during a public meeting March 15-17 in Wenatchee.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in the Wenatchee and Chelan rooms of the Red Lion Hotel, 1225 N. Wenatchee Ave., in Wenatchee.

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 15, with Commission workshops that include no public input but are open to the public. Meetings scheduled Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 16, beginning at 8 a.m., with a review of hunting season proposals on Friday and Columbia River fisheries policy review on Saturday.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

The hunting season-setting public process began last summer with surveys and meetings to develop proposals. They include:

  • Changes to Yakima and Colockum elk hunting permit allocations.
  • Adding unmanned aircraft (drones) to the list of prohibited hunting equipment.
  • Requiring black bear hunters to complete a bear-species identification test in areas with threatened grizzly bears.
  • Prohibiting night hunting of bobcats in areas with endangered lynx.

The commission will hear final public input at the March meeting, with decisions scheduled for the April meeting.

Last month the commission directed WDFW staff to review the Columbia River policy, adopted in 2013 in collaboration with Oregon to guide management of commercial and recreational salmon fisheries in the lower Columbia River. The policy is designed to promote conservation of salmon and steelhead, prioritize recreational salmon fishing, and shift gillnet fisheries away from the river’s main channel.

The current Washington policy also calls for increasing hatchery releases in the lower Columbia, expanding the use of alternative fishing gear by commercial fishers, and implementing strategies to reduce the number of gillnet permits. The commission will be briefed, take public comment, and possibly make decisions at the March meeting.

The Commission will also hear public comment on proposed amendments to hydraulic project approval (HPA) rules on Saturday.

The Commission is set to make decisions on a proposal to require the use of LED fishing lights in the coastal commercial ocean pink shrimp trawl fishery and a permanent rule to clarify the limits of keeping salmon for personal use during an open commercial fishery.

The commission will also be briefed by WDFW staff on forest management in wildlife areas, 2018 federal Farm Bill reauthorization, and the department’s annual wolf report.

 

 


 

Columbia River Fishing Report 07-03-2017


 

Summer chinook fishery reopens on the lower Columbia River
 
OLYMPIA – The fishery for summer chinook salmon is scheduled to reopen tomorrow (July 7) and run through July 31 on the lower Columbia River.
 
A new, higher projection of this year’s summer chinook return allowed fishery managers from Washington and Oregon to reopen the fishery below Bonneville Dam after closing the season early last week.

Based on the latest projection, 74,100 adult summer chinook will return to the Columbia this year – up from 63,100 anticipated at the start of the season. As a result, the catch guideline for the recreational fishery has increased by 1,290 fish, said Ron Roler, a Columbia River fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“The higher run forecast allows us to reopen the fishery through the end of the summer season, when the fall fishing season gets underway,” Roler said. “That’s been our goal all along, so long as the fishery meets established conservation standards.”

The area of the Columbia River affected by the states’ action extends from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upriver to Bonneville Dam. As before, anglers can catch up to two adult hatchery chinook, two adult sockeye, or one of each. One hatchery steelhead may also be retained as part of two-fish daily limit.

Barbless hooks are required, and anglers must release any summer chinook with an intact adipose fin.

Washington state fishing rules are posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

 

 


 

Columbia River Fishing Report 06-29-2017

Photo Courtesy of Columbia River Fishing Adventures


 

Anglers must release adult chinook salmon starting July 1 on the lower Columbia River

 

OLYMPIA – Starting Saturday (July 1), anglers fishing the lower Columbia River must release any adult summer chinook salmon they intercept under new rules approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

By then, this year’s recreational catch is expected to reach the 2,656-fish harvest guideline established by those states from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Bonneville Dam.

Anglers fishing those waters can still catch and keep sockeye salmon, hatchery steelhead and hatchery “jack” chinook as outlined in the current state fishing rules.

The new rule also does not affect summer chinook fisheries now underway – and just getting started – upriver from Bonneville Dam.

Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the chinook fishery that opened June 16 below the dam went more quickly than in some years.

“One reason is that colder water in the Columbia helped to boost catch rates,” Roler said. “Another is that this year’s projected run is smaller than average, reducing the number of adult fish available for harvest.”

Fishery managers project that 63,100 adult summer chinook will return to the Columbia River this year, compared to the 10-year average of 72,100 fish. Last year, 91,048 summer chinook returned to the river.

Roler added that the two states will consider reopening the fishery if fish counts at Bonneville Dam show this year’s return is larger than expected.

“On average, half the run has passed the dam by July 1,” he said. “We’ll keep a close eye on how it goes from there.”

Washington state fishing rules are posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/

 


 

Columbia River Fishing Reports

Here is the latest Columbia River Fishing Reports provided by the WDFW


McNary Dam Pool and Hanford Reach summer salmon fishery changes

 

Action: Opens McNary Dam Pool and Hanford Reach recreational salmon fisheries. 

Effective date:  June 16 through June 30, 2017

Species affected: Chinook, sockeye and steelhead.

Area 1:  Columbia River from McNary Dam to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco (CRC 533).

Daily Limit: six (6), up to two may be adult salmon or one adult salmon and one hatchery steelhead. Release all salmon other than hatchery chinook and sockeye.

Area 2:  Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point (CRC 534).

Daily Limit: four (4) salmon, of which no more than one (1) may be an adult hatchery chinook and no more than two (2) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Area 3:  Columbia River from the Interstate 182 Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam (CRC 535, 536).

Daily Limit: six (6) salmon, of which no more than two (2) may be adult hatchery chinook and no more than three (3) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon and must have a current Washington fishing license, as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE).

Reason for action: These changes were proposed and discussed during the North of Falcon salmon season rule-setting public process and will be adopted by permanent rule later this summer and be published in the 2017-18 sport fishing rules pamphlet.

Information contacts:  Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco) or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330.

 


 

Columbia River Fishing Report – 06/02/2015


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Need a Columbia River Fishing Guide? Give Swanny a Call! 360-446-5177 or 206-755-1204


06/02/2015 – J. W. Snyder – Fishing The Columbia 

 

Columbia River Fishing Report

 

Hanford Reach salmon fishery changes

Actions: 1) Implements a new salmon fishery management area in the Columbia River near the mouth of the Yakima River in the Tri-cities.

2) Implements protective salmon daily limits in the new management area, while providing more liberal daily limits in the remainder of the Hanford Reach upstream.

Effective date: June 16 through Aug. 15, 2015

Species affected: Chinook and sockeye salmon

Area 1: Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point (new Catch Record Card Code ?534?)

Daily Limit: Daily limit of three (3) salmon, of which no more than one (1) may be adult hatchery chinook and no more than two (2) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Area 2: Columbia River from the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point to Priest Rapids Dam. (CRC 535, 536)

Daily Limit: Daily limit of eight (8) salmon, of which no more than two (2) may be adult hatchery chinook and no more than six (6) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon and must have a current Washington fishing license, as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Anglers may fish with two poles with the Two-Pole Endorsement, except for sturgeon.

Reason for action: WDFW is creating a new salmon fishery management area near the mouth of the Yakima River to manage fishing effort, harvest and provide protective daily limits in this short, six-mile river section.

These changes were proposed and discussed during the North of Falcon salmon season rule-setting public process and will be adopted by permanent rule later this summer and be published in the 2015-16 sport fishing rules pamphlet.

Information contacts: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco) or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330.

 

This concludes our 2015 Columbia River Fishing Report