SALEM, Ore. – The combination of cooling water temperatures in the Columbia River and additional protections in the form of a river-wide steelhead retention closure have allowed managers to re-open the closed area adjacent to the mouth of the Deschutes River effective Thursday Sept. 6.
The Columbia River section outside the Deschutes mouth had been closed to angling since Aug. 9 based on direction from the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to protect wild summer steelhead that may be using the cooler water provided by this tributary.
“Although steelhead returns are still below pre-season expectations, the additional protections provided by the river-wide retention closure coupled with decreasing temperatures allows us to open this popular Chinook salmon fishing area. That being said, if an angler does happen to catch a steelhead while fishing for something else, it is critical that they do their utmost to ensure its survival by using best fishing practices,” said Tucker Jones, manager of ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program.
Anglers are reminded that due to poor returns of upriver summer steelhead, a retention closure remains in effect for steelhead in the mainstem Columbia River from the mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco, WA. The closure also includes the lower John Day River downstream from Tumwater Falls. In addition, the current fishing closure in the Deschutes River extending downstream from the lower end of Moody Rapids to the Deschutes River mouth at the Highway 84 Bridge will remain in place. The steelhead closures are expected to continue through the end of the year.
For more information and regulation updates, please see ODFW’s Columbia River Zone online.