National Fisherman

Washington and Oregon officials will meet Tuesday to consider reopening sport and commercial fishing for spring chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River.

The Columbia River Compact will begin at 11 a.m. to consider gillnet fishing between Bonneville Dam and the coast. A joint state sport hearing will follow the compact session.

The Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee — a panel of state, tribal and federal biologists — issued its first spring chinook run update on Monday. In December, the committee forecast an upper Columbia run of 141,400 adult spring chinook.

On Monday, the forecast was downgraded to 107,500 upper Columbia spring chinook.

Large buffers were applied to sport and commercial fishing in the lower Columbia in March and April.

Even though the forecast was downsized, there remains about 1,200 spring chinook available for commercial harvest and about 1,400 for the lower Columbia sport fishery, said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Officials of the two states have talked about a commercial fishery on Wednesday. Roler said he doubts the commercial fleet can catch 1,200 fish in a single night.

Read the full story at the Columbian>>

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