Coho Limit Upped To 3 On Some Of Willamette System

(OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)

Editor’s note: For more on how to catch ’em, pick up Northwest Sportsman’s September issue. Terry Otto dishes the dirt.

Anglers may keep an additional coho salmon on several Willamette Valley area streams under temporary fishing rules adopted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Effective Sept. 23, the daily bag limit for coho salmon increases to three fish on the Willamette, Clackamas, Sandy, Molalla, Santiam, Yamhill, South Yamhill and Tualatin rivers and Eagle and Gales creeks. Prior to the rule change, the limit was two coho per day.

The increased bag limit was prompted by recent information that indicates strong returns of coho this year. Through mid-September, more than 4,000 adult coho have already passed ODFW’s fish counting station at Willamette Falls. In addition, strong returns have also been observed at ODFW’s Sandy Fish Hatchery and on Eagle Creek, a tributary of the Clackamas River.

“It’s exciting to see another strong return of coho this year,” said Todd Alsbury, fish biologist for ODFW’s North Willamette Watershed, who noted that while the coho run is not expected to be as large as last year’s banner run, it’s still shaping up to be very good.  “We’re always pleased when we are able to offer additional fishing opportunities to our constituents. This is especially true when many families are feeling the pinch of a tough economy.”

On the Willamette River below Willamette Falls and on the Clackamas and Sandy rivers and Eagle Creek coho must be adipose fin-clipped in order to be retained. This requirement is intended to help protect unclipped wild fish that inhabit both of these streams. On the Willamette River and its tributaries above Willamette Falls, both clipped and unclipped coho may be retained.

Anglers are reminded that combined daily limits still apply when catching more than one species of anadromous fish. Accordingly, in those areas that are also open to retention of chinook salmon and steelhead, the combined daily bag limit is two adult fish, with the exception that one additional fish may be kept if it is an adipose fin-clipped coho (or any coho above Willamette Falls) or adipose fin-clipped steelhead. Consult the 2010 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for more information on regulations, open areas, seasons and bag limits on these species.

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