ILWACO — The chinook salmon catch in the popular Buoy 10 fishery in the Columbia River estuary was the best in 25 years.
According to Washington and Oregon biologists, sportsmen made 37,200 trips from Aug. 1 to 22, keeping 15,500 chinook and releasing 4,100.
From Aug. 23 through Sept. 1, only hatchery chinook could be kept at Buoy 10. Biologists estimate there were 20,900 trips with 6,800 chinook kept and 8,600 released.
Chinook retention is closed at Buoy 10. The coho harvest through Sept. 1 was 6,800 fish compared to 13,100 available.
Anglers in the lower Columbia River between Tongue Point and Bonneville Dam experienced a record-high August catch. In August, there were 69,000 trips with 12,600 chinook kept and 1,100 released.
Only hatchery chinook may be retained from Sept. 6 through 12 between Tongue Point and Warrior Rock on Sauvie Island, then chinook retention in this area closes until Oct. 1.
The lower Columbia from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam stays open with a one-chinook daily bag limit through December.