Oregon and Washington fishery managers have announced the 2017 summer and fall salmon and steelhead seasons for the Columbia River.
The summer season is similar to last year, except that the daily bag limit on hatchery steelhead has been reduced to one fish due to poor expected hatchery and wild steelhead returns. The season began June 16 with a daily bag limit of two adult salmonids, which may include up to two hatchery Chinook, but no more than one hatchery steelhead. Sockeye may also be retained as part of the adult daily limit. The season is expected to remain open through July 31.
Fishery managers are forecasting a return of 63,100 summer Chinook and 130,700 summer steelhead, and 198,500 sockeye salmon, all lower than last year’s actual returns.
The fall season, which begins Aug. 1, includes the popular Buoy 10 fishery near Astoria and the fall “upriver bright” Chinook season in the mainstem Columbia. Upriver bright Chinook are well known for their larger size and aggressive nature. Fishery managers forecast that 582,600 fall Chinook will enter the river this year, which is down from about 640,000 returning fall Chinook in 2016.
Due to the low projected returns for upriver summer steelhead, additional protective regulations are needed this fall including area-specific steelhead retention closures. The rolling one- to two-month closures start in August and progress upriver following the steelhead return to reduce take of both hatchery and wild fish. These closures affect the mainstem Columbia and the lower reaches of specific tributaries. When retention is allowed, the one-steelhead bag limit will also remain in effect throughout much of the fall.
Anglers are reminded that Columbia River fisheries are managed to quotas and that regulation changes and in-season modifications can happen quickly, based on actual returns and harvest rates. ODFW recommends that anglers make sure they understand the latest season dates and regulations before venturing out on the water by checking the Columbia River Regulations Update Page at dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/columbia.asp.
Here are the detailed regulations for the 2017 Columbia River summer salmon and steelhead seasons:
2017 Summer Season (June 16-July 31)
Megler-Astoria Bridge to OR/ WA border:
Retention of sockeye and adult (24-inches or longer) hatchery Chinook allowed.
Retention of hatchery Chinook jacks (between 12 and 24 inches long) and hatchery steelhead allowed.
All sockeye are considered adults in the daily limit and must be recorded as adults on the combined angling tag.
The daily bag limit is two adult salmonids, of which no more than one may be a steelhead, and five jacks.
Night closure in effect except for anglers enrolled in the Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Program.
All other permanent rules apply.
Summary of 2017: summer/fall salmon and steelhead regulations for Oregon Columbia River tributaries
Deschutes River (downstream of Moody Rapids): June 16-Dec. 31: One steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit except closed to angling Sept. 1-30.
John Day River (downstream of Tumwater Falls): June 16-Dec. 31: One steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit except closed to steelhead retention Sept. 1 – Oct. 31.