No fishing for summer chinook and sockeye

Yakima Herald –

The Columbia River will be closed for summer chinook and sockeye fishing in 2019.

It is the first time in almost 10 years that fishing, both recreational and commercial, has been closed on the Columbia River for those two species. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the closures after a meeting Monday with tribal managers and the Pacific Fishery Management Council, according to a Department of Fish and Wildlife news release.

Salmon returns are expected to be low this year due to poor ocean conditions, said Ryan Lothrop, Department of Fish and Wildlife Columbia River fishery manager, during a March public meeting.

But coho and fall chinook fisheries will remain open, according to the news release.

About 11,200 spring chinook are expected to return to the Upper Columbia River, according to a Department of Fish and Wildlife report. About 94,400 sockeye are expected to return to the entire Columbia River.

Summer chinook and sockeye fisheries could open if returns are higher than projected, said Chad Jackson, Department of Fish and Wildlife North Central Washington fish program manager.

The agency would pass an emergency regulation if that happened and any fishing would face restrictions, Jackson said.