Columbia Open Again For Salmonids

Just in case you overlooked it in the fishing pamphlet, the Columbia River between I-5 and Tongue Point near Astoria reopened for salmonid fishing.

You can’t keep adult Chinook, but the daily bag from May 16-June 15 in that stretch is six. That can include up to two adult hatchery steelhead or a pile of hatchery Chinook jacks (kings less than 24 inches).

While WDFW’s Robin Elhke has been pretty mum about the official summer steelhead forecast, some in the fishing industry are pretty excited.

““If early indications in local rivers are a barometer of what’s in store for steelhead anglers this summer then fishing should be outstanding,” said Trey Carskadon of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association in a press release. “Fishing’s already been good and will continue to improve each week into the summer.”

Last year resulted in historic highs with all-time daily records for steelhead passage broken at Bonneville Dam. So far this season, over twice as many have gone over (8,520) as through the same date last year.

Hatchery adult Chinook retention, daily limit two, is slated to start June 16 from the mouth of the Columbia up to Priest Rapids Dam.

“And this is just the start,” said Carskadon. “The Northwest is expecting to see a full season for summer Chinook with no closures expected for the first time in four decades; some good offshore salmon opportunity; a very good Buoy 10 season; some great fall Columbia River fall Chinook fishing and better returns on the North Coast for fall Chinook.  If ever there was a year to buy a fishing license this is it.”

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