Oregon and Washington fishery managers recently finalized seasons and regulations for 2022 Columbia River summer and fall recreational salmon and steelhead fisheries.
Forecasts for summer Chinook, fall Chinook, and coho will allow opportunity for anglers to target these fish but with added protections for ESA-listed LCR fall Chinook. The forecast for upriver summer steelhead of 99,700 is below average and will require conservative retention regulations again this year. In addition, while the sockeye forecast of 199,700 is large enough to allow a retention fishery, this forecast includes only 19,200 Wenatchee River sockeye which is below the escapement goal; therefore there will be no directed sockeye fishery in the Columbia River downstream of the Wenatchee River confluence.
For the summer season, retention of adult hatchery Chinook will open June 16 and is expected to continue through June 22 downstream of Bonneville Dam and through July 31 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border. Hatchery steelhead retention will be allowed June 16 to July 31 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to The Dalles Dam and June 16-August 31 from the Dalles Dam upstream to the OR/WA border with a reduced bag limit of one fish.
This year’s adult fall Chinook forecast of 485,500 fish is similar to the actual return in 2021. Chinook retention seasons start Aug. 1 and vary by river section and include additional protection measures for ESA-listed LCR fall Chinook, including mark-selective (adipose fin-clipped only) rules for Chinook at Buoy 10 through Aug. 24 and closures of salmonid angling upstream of west Puget Island when Chinook retention is prohibited.
Due to the low forecast for upriver summer steelhead, protective regulations will include a one hatchery steelhead daily bag limit when open, area-specific retention closures, and Thermal Angling Sanctuaries encompassing portions of Eagle Creek, Herman Creek, the Deschutes River, and the Columbia River near the mouths of these tributaries. Tributary fisheries in the Deschutes and John Day rivers are also restricted until additional information about the strength of the wild upriver summer steelhead run becomes available.
For more detailed information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s online fishing reports.