The main stem of the Columbia River is now closed to all salmon and steelhead fishing, both sport and commercial. Washington Fish and Wildlife says that the river closed at midnight last night, citing low returns and the approach of quota limits under the Endangered Species Act. Bill Tweit is the Columbia River Fishery Coordinator at WDFW, and he says that the current counts at Bonneville Dam are 29 percent below original forecasts; he also says that the on-going fisheries on the river are getting close to the allowable catch limits under the ESA. It’s also noted that Fall Chinook returns are continuing to decline, mostly due to poor ocean conditions. Tweit says that the pre-season forecast for 2019 is just 47 percent of the 10-year average of upriver bright Fall Chinook. Other waters being closed include Deep River in Washington, along with several bays and sloughs in Oregon, near the mouth of the Columbia River. Get the latest on the WDFW web page.
The Columbia River will be open for White Sturgeon fishing during the next two Saturdays. WDFW reports that the main stem of the Columbia and adjacent tributaries in Washington will be open for Sturgeon retention this Saturday and next Saturday, between the Wauna powerlines and Bonneville Dam. Anglers will be allowed to keep one White Sturgeon, which has to be between 44 and 50 inches in length. There’s also an annual limit of two White Sturgeon per year. Retention of Green Sturgeon is prohibited. Find out more from WDFW, or get updated information from your local outfitter.