Springer Season is officially set, well for the lower portion of the Columbia at least.

Washington and Oregon state wildlife officials approved a sport fishery between Bonneville Dam and the Washington-Oregon border, east of Umatilla, to open March 16 and run through May 5.

But do not be complacent with high water conditions, the early season allocation for that area is 921 spring chinook, which could go by quickly.

Remember these are only initial catch guidelines set by the two states; anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam can catch up to 6,905 upriver spring chinook through April 6, before the early season closes until mid-May for a run assessment.

While slow, the season below I-5 has been open for a few weeks already.

Under the preseason forecast, approximately 160,400 upriver spring chinook are expected to return to the waters above Bonneville Dam this year, which represent about 80 percent of the 10-year average.

Official reminded anglers that monitoring of the run is ongoing and should the fish return at or above expectations, additional days of fishing could be added later in the spring.

The following fishing regulations will be in effect below Bonneville Dam from March 1 through April 6:

  • Fishing area: The fishery is currently open downstream from the Interstate 5 Bridge, but will expand upstream starting March 1 under the new rules. Fishing will then be open to boat and bank anglers daily from the mouth of the Columbia to Beacon Rock. Bank anglers can also fish upriver to Bonneville Dam.
  • Daily limit: Anglers are allowed one marked, hatchery-reared adult chinook salmon as part of their daily limit of two salmon, two steelhead, or one of each. Any chinook or steelhead without a clipped adipose fin and a healed scar must be released unharmed.



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