ENTERPRISE, Ore. — Fall Chinook season will open on the Snake River on Saturday from the Oregon and Washington border upstream to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam.
Snake River fall Chinook are currently making their way up the Columbia River and have entered the Snake River. This past week, fish began to pass Lower Granite Dam.
“In the past year, spring Chinook and steelhead numbers have been down in our region, limiting angler opportunity,” said Winston Morton, acting assistant district fish biologist. “We are excited about the opportunity this fall for anglers to fish for salmon in our district.”
The season for this fishery will open this weekend and run through Oct. 31, or until further notice, and be open seven days per week.
The daily bag limit for this season is six adipose fin-clipped fall Chinook per day; with no daily, possession, or season limits on marked or un-marked jack salmon (less than or equal to 24 inches in length). Anglers must cease fishing for salmon for the day when they retain six salmon (non-jack).
Barbless hooks and a Columbia Basin Endorsement are required when angling for salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon in the Snake River.
All other 2019 Oregon sport fishing regulations apply.
Due to limited access in this section, most anglers access this fishery below Hells Canyon Dam or by jet boat.
Managers with the ODFW and Idaho Fish and Game expect a modest run of about 24,500 adult fall Chinook to pass above Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River.
“While the run size is fifty percent of the 10-year average, we feel fortunate to open this fishery to harvest hatchery surplus fish” said Morton.
Snake River fall Chinook enter the Columbia River during late summer and into the fall and travel nearly 600 miles past eight dams to reach their natal streams.