Chinook fishing at Buoy 10 to close early

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

Published:

 

Salmon angling is excellent at Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River and the chinook retention is expected to end about Thursday or Friday.

Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he estimates the 20,000-chinook guideline will be caught by Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

"I thought we might make it to Monday or Tuesday of next week, but I don't think so now,'' Roler said.

Through Sunday, 11,300 chinook and 1,700 coho had been caught from 25,000 angler trips at Buoy 10, the name give to the 16 miles between Buoy No. 10 at the Columbia River mouth and Rocky Point in Washington and Tongue Point in Oregon.

That's 57 percent of the chinook guideline and 13 percent of the coho allocation.

Roler said Thursday was the highest catch day of the season, with .68 chinook per angler and a total catch of 1,627.

On Friday, anglers caught 1,377 chinook. The numbers were 1,624 on Saturday and 1,603 on Sunday.

"The tides are not as favorable for fishing next week, but it's prime time with a greater number of fish in the area,'' he said.

Chinook retention was scheduled to continue through Sept. 1, but Washington and Oregon officials warned as early as April that making it through August was not a guarantee.

A run of 678,600 fall chinook and 433,600 coho is forecast to enter the Columbia River. Fall chinook harvests are constrained by the need to not overharvest wild spawners headed for lower Columbia tributaries such as the Grays, Elochoman, Cowlitz and Washougal rivers.

Most of the catch has been landed at Oregon ports. Of the 11,300 chinook, 8,500 are been landed in Oregon. Anglers reported guides making double trips on the weekend.

Retention of two hatchery coho a day will continue at Buoy 10 after the chinook closure.

Chinook retention is scheduled to continue through Sept. 5 from Tongue Point-Rocky Point to the mouth of the Lewis River at Woodland. From Sept. 6-12, angling in that stretch of the Columbia will remain open for hatchery chinook and hatchery coho.

Upstream of Woodland, chinook retention will stay open through the duration of the run.