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On The Columbia River

Seasons for shad, steelhead and hatchery chinook salmon coming up

The Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam will be open to fishing for shad, steelhead and hatchery chinook salmon from March 16 through May 10, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced last week.

Fishing on the mainstem Columbia from Bonneville Dam to the Tower Island powerlines (about 6 miles below The Dalles Dam) will be bank fishing only. From the Tower Island power lines upstream to McNary Dam bank and boat fishing. (Check "Closed Waters" in the Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet for detailed information.)

Daily limits for the fishery will be as follows: Salmon, six fish, but only two adults, with minimum size of 12 inches; Trout, two fish at least 12 inches in size (all wild steelhead must be released); Shad, no daily limit or minimum size limit.

State officials approved the fishery because the upriver spring chinook run size is predicted to be 269,300 fish, providing for additional recreational opportunity for spring chinook fishing in the mainstem Columbia under the current Endangered Species Act (ESA) guideline. The extended season is expected to allow for harvest of hatchery chinook while minimizing impacts to ESA-listed species. The fishery may close earlier if ESA impacts are reached earlier than anticipated.

Seasons may change in-season as the fishery progresses and anglers are advised to check hotlines or contact regional offices for season updates prior to angling. The number to call in Southwest Washington is (360) 696-6211.

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