Enterprise, Ore. – ODFW has modified bag limits for the Snake River fall Chinook season to allow anglers to harvest one wild adult fall Chinook in the Snake River.
The National Marine Fisheries Service recently approved a three-state fall Chinook fishery management plan that allows Idaho, Oregon and Washington to expand harvest of fall Chinook salmon to include unclipped adults.
The current regulations are as follows:
· Through Oct. 31, 2019, or until further notice, the Snake River from the Oregon-Washington border upstream to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam is open to fall Chinook fishing.
· Effective Nov. 1 through Nov. 17, 2019, or until further notice, the Snake River from Cliff Mountain Rapids (RM 246.7, 1.1 miles below Hells Canyon Dam) upstream to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam will remain open to fall Chinook fishing.
· The daily bag limit is six (6) fall Chinook per day of which one (1) may be wild; with no daily, possession, or season limits on marked or un-marked jack salmon (less than or equal to 24 inches in length). Anglers must cease fishing for salmon for the day when they retain six (6) salmon (non-jack).
Fall Chinook have returned to the Snake River in strong numbers in recent years prompting fisheries managers to peruse these changes. “If we see strong runs in future years, we’ll consider expanding harvest to more than one unclipped fish,” said Kyle Bratcher, Acting District Fish Biologist. “We’ve decided to be somewhat conservative in the first year while we gain a better understanding of what harvest will be,” Bratcher added. While some wild fall Chinook will be harvested, the majority of these fish are unmarked hatchery fish.
Fall Chinook fishing has been slow in the Oregon section of the Snake River with fish still making their way through the lower river. Fisheries managers expect fish will begin arriving in greater numbers over the next two weeks with the best fishing to come.