Anglers take note of Columbia River fall salmon forecasts and tributary rule changes that begin next month.

Article by Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times
July 27, 2016
Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Check out his articles here.

Here is a rundown of regulations that take effect starting Monday (Aug. 1), and state Fish and Wildlife’s Columbia River fall salmon forecasts:

The forecast for 2016 fall chinook adult return to the Columbia River totals 960,200 fish, which would be another strong return. The forecast is 74 percent of the 2015 actual return (1,305,500) and 136 percent of the 2006-2015 average return (705,600). Bright stocks represent 75 percent of the total forecast.

The 2016 forecast for the Columbia River coho return is 322,600 adults, which includes 132,900 early stock and 189,700 late stock. The forecast is 73 percent of the 2006-2015 average of 441,400 fish.

Tributary regulations that take effect beginning Monday (Aug. 1):

Grays and Elochoman rivers – The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Only hatchery chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.

Night closure, anti-snagging rule, and stationary gear restriction will be in effect. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained. Barbless hooks must be used. On the Grays River (including West, East, and South forks), all Chinook must be adipose and/or ventral fin clipped to be retained.

Green and South Fork Toutle rivers – The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Only hatchery chinook and hatchery coho may be retained. Barbless hooks must be used.

Mainstem Lewis River (including North Fork up to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam) – Will be open to fishing for hatchery chinook and hatchery coho; all other salmon must be released. The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adults. Wild chinook may be retained beginning the fourth Saturday in September (September 24 this year).

Wind River from mouth (boundary line/ markers) upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls – The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 2 may be adult salmon or hatchery steelhead or one of each. Release wild coho. Release wild chinook from the Highway 14 Bridge upstream. Release all other salmon.

Drano Lake – The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish of which no more than 3 adults may be retained of which only 2 may be hatchery steelhead. Anti-snagging rule will be in effect. When the anti-snagging rule is in effect, only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

White Salmon River from the county road bridge upstream to 400 feet below Big Brother Falls – The salmon daily will be 6 fish of which no more than 3 may be hatchery salmon or hatchery steelhead of which only 2 may be salmon. For salmon, only hatchery chinook and hatchery coho may be retained.

Klickitat River from the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) upstream to the Fisher Hill Bridge and 400 feet upstream from #5 upstream to boundary markers below the Klickitat Salmon Hatchery – The salmon daily limit will be 6 fish. Up to 3 may be adults may be retained of which only 2 may be coho.