Friday September 2, 2022

The Columbian

With Chinook salmon catches trending well above expectation, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced Thursday that the lower Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to Buoy 10 (including the Camas Slough) will close to salmon fishing beginning Friday.

Fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed Thursday to close salmon fishing downstream of Bonneville Dam after preliminary data showed impacts to Lower Columbia River “tule” Chinook — which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act — were much higher than anticipated.

“This closure is a big deal and a decision not taken lightly, but we’ve got to do this to ensure fisheries remain within their conservation limits on these listed runs of fish,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program Manager.

“It kills us to have to close fishing before Labor Day Weekend, especially when we recognize how important recreational angling is to both the conservation of salmon and to the economics of local communities that rely on this fishery. Unfortunately, closing is our only option right now. But we are committed to getting folks back on the water as soon as possible, if it’s possible.”

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