Sockeye salmon numbers exceed expectations in Columbia River, open for fishing in Pasco July 1st

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said sockeye salmon fishing expands on the Columbia River because numbers are much higher than predicted this year.

“We’ll continue monitoring the return closely to make sure we’re meeting our conservation goals, but we’re optimistic that there will be significantly more opportunity to fish for sockeye in much of the river this summer,” said a WDFW Columbia River fish biologist, Quinten Daugherty.

Starting July 1st, fishing is open from the Astoria-Megler Bridge on the lower river to the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco, and daily limits increase from there to Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport on the upper river.

Through June 29, the preliminary total sockeye count at Bonneville Dam is 343,953 fish- the highest count to date in the last 10 years.

With the improved sockeye run, Lake Wenatchee is likely to have surplus fish for harvest later in the summer.

Sockeye fishing on the Columbia River was updated for the following areas and dates; for more information on the rules for the specific section of river where you plan to fish visit WDFW’s emergency rules page.

See the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for permanent regulations for each section of river.

Marine Area 4 west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line:

Effective immediately through July 4, 2022: Salmon daily limit 2, including no more than 1 Chinook. Chinook min. size 24”. Coho min. size 16”. Other salmon species no min. size. Release wild coho.

Effective July 5, 2022, until further notice: Salmon: Closed.

Marine Area 4 East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line:

Effective July 2, 2022, until further notice: Salmon: Closed.

Reason for action: A significant portion of the Chinook quota for Neah Bay has been harvested. By suspending salmon fishing in Marine Area 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line and subsequently west of the line, a portion of the Chinook quota is being preserved to allow reopening the area later in the season when more coho are present.

Additional information: The catch quotas for recreational fisheries North of Cape Falcon in 2022 are 27,000 Chinook and 168,000 marked coho, with an Area 4 Chinook guideline of 6,110 and Area 4 coho quota of 17,470.

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Article Source: Fox 11