July 28, 2008

Chinook Anglers to Have More Chances

By Scott Sandsberry

YAKIMA --Anglers will have the 31 days of August plus Labor Day - - compared to just 12 days last year -- in the popular "Buoy 10" fall chinook fishery near the mouth of the Columbia River, but won't be as fortunate upriver.

They'll have to release any chinook they catch upriver to the Bonneville Dam until Sept. 1, and retention of adult chinook will be limited in many of the mid-Columbia tributaries popular with Central Washington fishermen.

For the first time, mark-selective fishing rules will be in effect for chinook jacks on eight Columbia River tributaries, requiring anglers to release chinook salmon less than 24 inches long that are not hatchery fish marked with a clipped adipose fin. The hatchery jacks are marked with a clipped adipose fin, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regional fish manager Pat Frazier hopes anglers catch them in droves, "because we want them off the spawning grounds."

The WDFW's 2008-09 rules pamphlet is available online at wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm.

In all, 376,800 adult fall chinook are expected to return to the Columbia River this year, compared to 219,600 last year. But to protect weak runs, fishery managers adopted several conservation measures that will impact local anglers:

On the Lewis River (as well as the North Fork Lewis and an eight- mile area near the mouth), wild chinook returns aren't expected to get close to the escapement goal, so all chinook caught must be released. Hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead can be retained, but boat fishing is prohibited in a long stretch of the North Fork.

Chinook anglers on the Cowlitz and Toutle rivers will be limited to hatchery-reared jacks, but can still keep hatchery steelhead and hatchery coho caught on either river.

On the Wind and White Salmon rivers and Drano Lake, anglers can keep adult chinook, but must release any wild chinook jack.

Buoy 10 area to be open Aug. 1 through Labor Day

by Sports Staff

Yakima Herald-Republic

(c) 2008 Yakima Herald-Republic. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.