Oregon and Washington fishery managers recently announced seasons and regulations for 2021 Columbia River summer and fall salmon and steelhead fisheries.
Improved forecasts for summer Chinook, fall Chinook and coho salmon will allow for increased opportunity to target these fish. However, the forecasts for sockeye salmon and upriver summer steelhead (155,600 and 101,400 respectively) are below average and will require conservative retention seasons.
For the summer season, retention of adult hatchery Chinook will open June 16 and continue through July 5 downstream of Bonneville Dam and through July 31 from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Oregon-Washington border. In both areas, sockeye and hatchery steelhead retention will be allowed June 16 to July 31, but with a reduced bag limit for each.
This year’s adult fall Chinook forecast of 576,400 fish is similar to the actual return in 2020 but the forecast includes 361,500 upriver bright Chinook, which would be 20 percent higher than the 2020 actual return. Fall Chinook retention seasons start Aug. 1 and are longer than recent years, but regulations do vary by river section, and anglers are encouraged to review the detailed descriptions. Hatchery coho retention will be open throughout the fall season based on the much-improved forecast.
Due to the low forecast for upriver summer steelhead, protective regulations will again be in effect for 2021 fisheries. These include a one hatchery steelhead daily bag limit, area-specific retention closures, and Thermal Angling Sanctuaries in portions of Eagle Creek, Herman Creek, the Deschutes River, and the Columbia River near the mouths of these tributaries.
For more information about upcoming Columbia River seasons, including regulation updates, visit Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s online fishing reports.