THE DALLES, Ore. – Fisheries managers have announced that the popular spring Chinook fishery on the Deschutes River will not open in 2017.
The spring Chinook fishery on the Deschutes is closed under permanent rule but opens in years with strong forecasted returns.
But according to Rod French, district fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, managers are predicting a very poor return of both hatchery and wild fish this season.
In order to ensure that the hatchery is able to collect enough brood stock to meet production goals, fishery managers have determined the Deschutes will remain closed to spring Chinook under permanent rule.
Things look somewhat better on the nearby Hood River, where a modest hatchery spring Chinook fishery will open from April 15 to June 30 from the mouth to the 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 one adult hatchery Chinook salmon per day, and five hatchery jack salmon per day. All salmon that have not been adipose fin-clipped must be released unharmed. All other limits and restrictions remain unchanged from those listed in the 2017 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulation for the Hood River.
It is unlawful to continue fishing in the Hood River after retaining an adult Chinook.
The weak returns on the Deschutes and Hood rivers are following the same trends that are predicted for rivers throughout the Columbia Basin.
On a more positive note, French said managers are predicting a strong return of fall Chinook to the Deschutes when the river reopens to Chinook fishing on Aug. 1.