Sockeye retention to reopen in lower Columbia

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Anglers in the lower Columbia River will be able to retain sockeye as part of the daily bag limit beginning Saturday.

Washington and Oregon on Wednesday approved retention of sockeye through July 31. Although chinook retention is closed until Aug. 1, the river is open for hatchery-origin steelhead.

Biologist John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimated 200 to 300 sockeye might be caught by anglers targeting on summer steelhead. About 90 percent of the projected sockeye run has crossed Bonneville Dam.

Sockeye count as part of the two-adult-fish daily limit. Sockeye retention is not allowed downstream of the Astoria Bridge.

The gillnetters will fish from 9 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday from Beacon Rock to the coast with 8-inch-minimum mesh.

Biologist Robin Ehlke of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said 179 summer chinook remain on the commercial allocation of 1,892. The fleet is expected to catch about 175 chinook and fewer than 35 sockeye.

Sportsmen in the lower Columbia went 195 summer chinook over their allocation of 1,889, she said.

Sport salmon retention was open June 16-30 in the lower Columbia. Sportsmen caught 538 sockeye during those two weeks along with 2,084 chinook