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News / Sports / Outdoors

Columbia River spring Chinook fishing closes above Bonneville Dam

Washington, Oregon say early closure due to allocation being met

By Wire services
Published: April 29, 2024, 5:19pm

With the fishery expected to have already met its allowable catch, recreational spring Chinook fishing on the Columbia River mainstem from Bonneville Dam to the Oregon/Washington border will close beginning Tuesday, April 30, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon have announced.

While originally scheduled to run through May 2, fishery managers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that catches of upriver spring Chinook have already been met for the Columbia River section that runs from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Washington/Oregon border.

“While it’s disappointing to close earlier than anticipated, our foremost priority is to responsibly manage the upriver spring Chinook fishery,” said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River Fishery Manager with WDFW. “Implementing this necessary measure ensures we remain within our harvest constraints and are able to consider additional fisheries in the future.”

The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which forecasts and monitors salmon and steelhead returns to the Columbia River, has not yet provided a run-size update on the upriver spring Chinook run. That update typically occurs in mid-May.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor the run and assess the potential for additional fishing opportunities.

“It’s unfortunate we need to close early, but necessary as the fishing has been better than expected, and the fishery has met its allocation for now,” said Tucker Jones, Columbia River program manager for the ODFW. “This area and the fishery below Bonneville Dam may reopen later in spring, depending on the run size and available allocations which we will reassess in the first few weeks of May.”

Spring Chinook fishing remains open in Drano Lake, Wind River, and several Columbia River tributaries below Bonneville Dam.

Anglers should review the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for the waters they plan to fish, as well as check for any emergency rule changes before heading out.

ODFW also provides the latest Columbia River regulations on its website.