Fishery managers postpone Columbia River steelhead season

Clackamas, Ore. – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington
today postponed the opening of summer steelhead and jack chinook
season from Tongue Point upstream to the I-5 Bridge on the Columbia
River, which typically opens on May 16 under permanent rules.

The decision was in response to a recent downgrade in the
upriver spring chinook forecast by the US v. Oregon Technical
Advisory Committee (TAC).  On Monday, TAC downgraded its preseason
estimate of nearly 300,000 to a range of 120,000 to 150,000
fish.

At the current forecasts, spring fisheries that have already
taken place will have exceeded the federal Endangered Species Act
limits on upriver chinook. The decision to delay the opening of
steelhead season will prevent the incidental catch of chinook that
would occur in this fishery.

The summer steelhead season will open no later than June 16,
which marks the end of the spring management season for chinook
salmon. In the meantime, managers will continue to monitor passage
of spring chinook at Bonneville Dam to determine whether they can
safely open the fishery prior to June 16. When the steelhead
fishery does open, angling for jack chinook and sockeye will also
be allowed.

Fishery managers left in place the recreational shad fishing
season that opens on May 16 from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the
Columbia to Bonneville Dam, due to the very low incidental catch of
chinook that occurs in this fishery.

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