OLYMPIA – Anglers fishing in the Buoy 10 area near the mouth of the Columbia River will be required to release any chinook salmon they catch after Friday, Aug. 28.
Following a week of record catch rates and angler turnout, state fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today agreed to close the popular fishery several days earlier than anticipated.
Even so, the total catch over four weeks of fishing is expected to reach or exceed 35,000 chinook in the 16-mile stretch of the lower Columbia River.
“This year’s Buoy 10 chinook fishery got off to a fast start and just kept picking up speed,” said Guy Norman, regional director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “We had hoped to keep the chinook fishery open through Labor Day, but the mounting catch reached the harvest guideline sooner than expected.”
The harvest guideline limits impacts on wild fish protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
However, anglers can still catch and retain hatchery coho and summer steelhead in the Buoy 10 waters, which extend upriver to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line. Both species are marked as hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.
All three species – including chinook salmon – are also still available for harvest upriver from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to Warrior Rock and beyond, Norman said.
“This fall season will continue to provide good fishing for chinook in the Columbia River upstream to the Hanford Reach,” he said. “If the Buoy 10 fishery is any indication, it should be a great year for salmon fishing.”