CENTRAL POINT, Ore – An emergency angling closure at the “Hatchery Hole” area at Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam begins Saturday, May 1 through July 31, 2021. The emergency closure applies to all angling to help meet hatchery spring Chinook broodstock collection needs.
The closure encompasses the Rogue River reach known as “ODFW markers 1,200 feet below fish ladder entrance markers (RM 157) to Cole Rivers Hatchery Dam.” The closure protects fish returning to this area for broodstock needs while allowing angling opportunity throughout the rest of the Rogue River Chinook fishery.
Hatchery spring Chinook returns are expected to be extremely low this year, and if the current pace continues, broodstock needs for this mitigation program may not be met without direct and early action. A similar emergency rule was enacted in 2017 and 2020 due to poor returns of early returning fish.
The Hatchery Hole opened as a fishing opportunity in the early 2000s when returns of hatchery spring Chinook were well above broodstock needs.
Cole Rivers Hatchery produces about 1.6 million spring Chinook salmon annually for release into the Rogue River and has a broodstock collection goal of 1,600 returning spring Chinook. The smolts produced from these adults will be released in five groups between August and October of 2022. Some smolts will be held and released at a larger size in March 2023.