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Spring Chinook seasons set for Deschutes, Hood Rivers

THE DALLES, Ore. – ODFW has set regulations for the popular spring Chinook fisheries on the Deschutes and Hood rivers, with both fisheries set to open on April 15.

Deschutes River:

Open for hatchery Chinook from April 15 through June 30 from the mouth of the I-84 bridge upstream to Sherars Falls.

The catch limit is one adult hatchery salmon per day, and five jack hatchery salmon per day.

All wild Chinook salmon must be released unharmed.

It is unlawful to continue to fish from Sherars Falls downstream to the upper railroad trestle after taking a daily bag limit of one adult Chinook salmon.
Hood River:

Open for adult hatchery Chinook from April 15 through June 30 from the mouth to mainstem confluence with the East Fork, and the West Fork from the confluence with the mainstem upstream to the angling deadline 200 feet downstream of Punchbowl Falls.

The catch limit is two adult hatchery salmon per day, and five hatchery jack salmon per day.

All wild Chinook salmon must be released unharmed.

Last year, there was no season on the Deschutes due to poor returns of both hatchery and wild fish. This year, fish managers are predicting as many as 7,600 hatchery fish will return to the Deschutes, which is substantially larger than last year. But with numbers of wild fish returning predicted to remain extremely low, a reduced bag limit and conservative regulations will be in place to protect their numbers.

“If the run comes back as predicted, hatchery Chinook salmon fishing on the Deschutes should be good,” said Rod French, ODFW district fish biologist in The Dalles. “The Deschutes River fishery below Sherars Falls is extremely popular because it offers a great chance to catch a Columbia River spring Chinook from the bank.” In recent years, as many as 10,000 anglers a year have participated in the fishery.

On the Hood River, managers are also predicting a fairly strong return of spring Chinook. A return of over 1,500 hatchery fish is predicted for the Hood River, which is slightly better than last year’s predicted return.

According to French, the Hood River offers another good opportunity to catch a spring Chinook from the bank but in conditions that are much less crowded than on the Deschutes.

For the latest regulations and recreation report for the Central Fishing Zone visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/central-zone.