Washington and Oregon fishery managers, on Friday, announced the closure of spring Chinook fisheries on the Columbia River. This year’s forecast for Chinook salmon returns on the Columbia was the lowest in 21 years at 72,000 fish. Wild Chinook salmon in the Columbia River are threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Initially, managers wanted to shorten the season. When the data became more clear, however, closing the season was the only logical response.
Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, in a press-release, said, “we would have liked to offer some additional opportunity for spring Chinook this year, but it was clear that the run wouldn’t support it.”
There have been many abrupt closures like this one in the past. But what made this closure special was that commercial and recreational anglers agreed and advocated for the closure.
Picture credit: University of Washington, Morgan Bond.