Columbia River will close to Chinook retention in WA, OR - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Columbia River will close to Chinook retention in WA, OR

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Associated Press - September 17, 2007 9:55 PM ET

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Effective on Wednesday, sport fishermen on the Columbia River will be required to release any chinook salmon they catch below the Bonneville Dam for the remainder of the season.

The same rule will also take effect on Thursday upriver to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco.

The new regulations were approved today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon. They don't affect coho fisheries in the Columbia River or salmon fisheries in any of its tributaries.

The Columbia River policy adviser for the Washington Department of fish and Wildlife ... Cindy LeFleur ... says the agreement to end chinook retention on the mainstem Columbia River was due primarily to the low number of upriver bright chinook salmon counted at the Bonneville Dam through Sunday.

LeFleur says based on those counts and catch totals to date, the preseason run forecast of 185,200 upriver chinook has been reduced to 105,000 fish. That's a reduction of more than 40%.

Under the new rule, the salmon fishery downstream from the Bonneville Dam to the Lewis River will close to chinook retention at the end of tomorrow and chinook retention will end on Wednesday between Bonneville Dam and the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco.

In addition, Columbia River chinook fisheries that were scheduled to reopen on October 1 will remain closed to chinook retention.

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