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Fall salmon season could be a mixed bag

Friday, August 10, 2018

Columbia River fall salmon seasons opened Aug. 1 with modest forecasts and a few new regulations.

The popular Buoy 10 fishery will lead off. Fisheries managers expect a total of 375,500 adult Chinook to enter the Columbia, which is about 80 percent of last year’s actual return and 50 percent of the recent 10-year average.

Upriver bright fall Chinook are planned to remain within a harvest rate limit of 8.25 percent, due to a lower forecasted return. The rate is lower than in recent years and has resulted in season and bag limit reductions.   

Manager predict coho returns will be similar to last year, with 213,600 adults expected to enter the river mouth, versus last year’s actual return of 235,700.

Due to the below-average steelhead forecast of 182,400, no more than one hatchery steelhead may be retained per day through Dec. 31 for all mainstem Columbia River recreational fisheries.

The Buoy 10 fishery is open for retention of any adult Chinook salmon through Aug. 24 with a one-fish daily bag limit. Chinook retention is scheduled to close Aug. 25, but hatchery coho/steelhead retention will remain open with a two-fish/one steelhead adult bag limit. 

From Tongue Point upstream to Warrior Rock, retention of any adult Chinook will be allowed through Sept. 2, with a one-fish daily adult bag. Starting Sept. 3, the daily adult bag limit increases to two-fish/one steelhead (hatchery coho/steelhead only). 

During all fall fisheries from Buoy 10 upstream to McNary Dam, each legal angler aboard a vessel may continue to deploy angling gear until the daily adult salmonid limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.

A complete summary of 2018 Columbia River fall regulations are available on the ODFW website at

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