Gillnetters to fish in lower Columbia on Sunday night

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

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CATHLAMET — Gillnetting for summer chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River is scheduled for Sunday night.

The Columbia River Compact on Wednesday adopted a commercial fishing period of 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday from Beacon Rock to the coast.

Biologist Robin Ehlke of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said about 125 gillnetters are expected to catch about 2,500 summer chinook and 325 sturgeon. A maximum of five sturgeon per vessel may be possessed. Between 100 and 350 sockeye also are anticipated to be taken.

A large run of 91,200 summer chinook are forecast to enter the Columbia River. Under the various state-federal-tribal management agreements, the commercials have an allocation of 4,600 summer chinook.

Sportsmen also get 4,600 summer chinook downstream of Priest Rapids Dam with 3,800 allocated from downstream of Bonneville Dam and 800 between Bonneville and Priest Rapids.

The compact will meet again June 25 to review the catches and consider more commercial fishing.

Tribal season — The four Columbia River treaty tribes will fish from 6 a.m. Monday to 6 p.m. June 21 and 6 a.m. June 25 to 6 p.m. June 28 in the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools.

Tribal netters are projected to catch up to 9,800 summer chinook and 13,500 sockeye in the two fishing periods. The tribes have an allocation of 27,725 summer chinook and 32,340 sockeye.