For 2013, a total of 180,500 sockeye are predicted to return to the Columbia River basin, less than half of last year’s forecast. As of June 28th there have been 109,645 Sockeye Salmon gone through the Bonneville Dam counting station. So, needless to say sometimes predictions are wrong.
Sockeye will be fair game in the upper Columbia River and some a portion of the Okanogan starting Monday, July 1st according to this anouncement posted today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:
Action: Allow retention of sockeye salmon from Priest Rapids Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam, including a portion of the lower Okanogan River
Effective dates and locations:
- July 1, 2013 until further notice from Priest Rapids Dam to Wells Dam
- July 16, 2013 until further notice from Wells Dam to Hwy 173 Bridge in Brewster
- July 1, 2013 until further notice from Hwy 173 Bridge in Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam
- July 1, 2013 until further notice from mouth of Okanogan River upstream to the first Highway 97 Bridge
Recent estimates of Okanogan sockeye are predicted to be adequate to allow for an anticipated low level (3,000-4,000) of angler harvest.
Other angler information:
- Daily limit six (6) salmon.
- No more than (2) adult hatchery chinook salmon and two (2) adult sockeye salmon may be retained in daily limit.
- Minimum size for adult chinook salmon is 24 inches.
- Minimum size for adult sockeye salmon is 12 inches.
- Anglers must stop fishing once adult salmon limit has been harvested.
- Barbless hooks required, bait is allowed.
- Anglers may fish with two poles with two pole endorsement.
- Anglers are reminded that salmon with floy tags and/or one or more holes (round, approximately ¼” in diameter) punched in the tail must be released.
- Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE).