Fewer early Columbia chinook expected

With a pre-season forecast calling for a lower return of early kings to the Columbia River this year, Washington and Oregon managers unveiled the management regime for first half fisheries Wednesday, Jan. 30.

The working estimate for the 2013 overall upper Columbia spring chinook run is 141,400 fish. That compares to the circa 203,000 springs that ventured above Bonneville Dam last year.

The lowest reaches of the Columbia (below Interstate 5) currently are open for personal use fishing for salmon and steelhead under rules set last year allowing the retention of hatchery fish (limited to marked chinook, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat) as well as bass, walleye and catfish.

Expansion of the sleek fish opportunity occurs the first of March under the recently agreed upon updated Columbia Compact terms.

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