More Water, Shorter Season Vs. Less Water, Longer Season

Would you rather have more water to fish, including from the bank up around Bonneville, but a shorter season, or have more days and angler trips but not the blazingly-good-at-times Interstate stretch?

That’s the nut of two options that Washington and Oregon fishery managers will vote on today as they set spring Chinook fisheries on the mainstem Columbia.

With only 7,600 upriver-bound spring Chinook available for the sport catch before the early-May run update, a fact sheet released late yesterday afternoon outlines the two options for sport fisheries below Bonneville Dam.

They are:

Option 1:
Buoy 10 upstream to Rooster Rock (boat and bank) plus bank angling only from Rooster Rock upstream to Bonneville Dam, 7 days per week, March 1 – April 4, 2011.
Legal upstream boundary would be defined as “A true North/South line projected from Rooster Rock on the Oregon shore to the Washington shoreline.”

Total angler trips = 85,300

Note: If the upstream boat angling boundary was extended to Beacon Rock, the expected duration of the fishery would be reduced to April 3. Legal upstream boundary would be defined as “A deadline marker on the Oregon bank (approximately four miles downstream from Bonneville Dam Powerhouse 1) in a straight line through the western tip of Pierce Island, to a deadline marker on the Washington bank at Beacon Rock.”

Option 2:
Buoy 10 upstream to I-5 Bridge, 7 days per week, March 1 – April 6, 2011. (No angling upstream of I-5 Bridge)

Total angler trips = 94,900

Catch limit below Bonneville Dam (35 retention days):

Expected kept catch = 10,100 fish (all stocks)

(37 retention days)

Expected kept catch = 11,000 fish (all stocks)

In both the limit would be one adipose-fin-clipped Chinook per day.

While the forecast is for 198,000 above-Bonneville-bound springers, managers are running nontreaty seasons as if 30 percent fewer (or 139,000) fish actually show up. That provides sports and comms a total of 11,527 Chinook to harvest.

The fact sheet allocates the harvest thusly:

a. 7,750 fish for the recreational fishery below Bonneville Dam

b. 1,050 fish for the recreational fishery from Bonneville Dam to the OR/WA state line

c. 600 fish for recreational fisheries in the Snake River

d. 1,900 fish for the mainstem commercial fishery

e. 200 fish for Select Area commercial fisheries

A final decision is expected at a meeting that begins at 10 a.m. at the Museum of the Oregon Territory, 211 Tumwater Drive in Oregon City.


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