CARSON — The white buoy line marking the boundary between Wind River and the Columbia River has been moved 250 yards south.
Working with a crew from the U.S. Geological Service, state workers recently finished moving the line farther into the Columbia River.
John Weinheimer, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, said the fishing area was expanded to relieve crowding at the mouth of the Wind, where up to 200 boats a day compete for space in late April and early May.
Sediment from the Wind River had reduced the areas still deep enough to fish, he said.
“The public has asked us for years to move the fishing boundary out into the Columbia,” Weinheimer said. “We’re trying it this year on an experimental basis to see if we can do that without a significant impact on federally protected spring chinook bound for the upper Columbia River.”
Weinheimer said the boundary line will be readjusted if monitoring shows a high catch of upper Columbia chinook.
The Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement Advisory Board approved spending $33,300 to hire temporary staff to monitor the catch and analyze the data over a three-month period.
Approximately 8,400 hatchery-reared adult spring salmon are expected to return to the Wind River this year.
The fishery for hatchery salmon on the Wind River will remain open through June 30, regardless of the regulations in effect on the mainstem Columbia River.
For a depiction of the new fishing boundary see http://bit.ly/Ij5s59