OLYMPIA — State fish managers today issued a rule requiring the release of any coho caught in the Columbia River upstream of the Astoria-Megler Bridge for the rest of July.
The rule expires on Aug. 1, when the fall management period begins, said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“We didn’t expect to see coho salmon arrive in the Columbia River in July, so our initial regulations didn’t specifically preclude catching them,” Roler said. “The new rule issued today is consistent with Oregon’s regulations, which prohibit coho retention until August.”
Drought conditions, which have affected fisheries throughout the state, are an unlikely cause of the early arrival of coho salmon in the Columbia River, Roler said.
“Warm water temperatures typically slow salmon migration,” he said. “Then again, this isn’t a typical summer for fish management.”