Columbia River salmon fishing reopens

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — Effective Sept. 17, the Columbia River will reopen to hatchery coho retention from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to the Warrior Rock/Bachelor Island line, fishery managers from Oregon and Washington decided today.

The adult bag limit is two hatchery coho. All Chinook must be released and steelhead may not retained until Nov. 1. All other previously adopted regulations remain in effect.

Salmon fishing from Tongue Point/Rocky Point upstream to Bonneville Dam closed earlier this month due to higher-than-expected impacts on lower Columbia River natural origin tule fall Chinook which are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Based on a review of available information which included impacts accrued in ocean fisheries, fishery managers reopened the area from Warrior Rock to Bonneville Dam on Sept. 11 to Chinook and hatchery coho. Although ESA-listed Snake River fall Chinook have become constraining, managers are comfortable reopening this river section to coho retention, which are returning in good numbers.

Also today, four additional sturgeon retention days were added in the mainstem Columbia from the Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam, including the Cowlitz River. Anglers can now retain white sturgeon in this area on Saturday, Sept. 18, Sunday Sept. 19, Wednesday Sept. 22, Saturday Sept. 25, and Wednesday Sept. 29.

Last Saturday, anglers harvested an estimated 347 legal-sized sturgeon which is less than expected, allowing additional days to be added. The harvest guideline for this fishery is 1,230 white sturgeon.

The daily bag limit is one legal-sized white sturgeon, with a statewide annual bag limit of two fish. Legal-size white sturgeon are those measuring a minimum of 44 inches and a maximum of 50 inches fork length, which is measured in a straight line under the fish from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal (tail) fin with the fish laying on a flat surface. Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited and single point barbless hooks are required when angling for sturgeon.

Always check the latest Columbia River regulations before fishing by visiting https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/columbia-zone.