April 19th, 2012
The Joint Management Staff of the Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish & Wildlife convened Joint State Hearings by teleconference at noon on Thursday, April 12, and at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 19, 2012 to review ongoing recreational fisheries for spring Chinook. The Columbia and Willamette Rivers both have been running high and cold this winter and spring, to which some attribute the uncommonly late run-timing of this year’s spring Chinook run. As of Wednesday, April 18, only 1,079 adult upriver spring Chinook have passed over Bonneville Dam. High river flows combined with turbidity slowed the catch rate in the recreational fishery during the week of April 8-14. With the rivers falling and resuming more normal flows in the week of April 15-21, sport fishing belwo Bonneville switched from quite slow to red hot fishing conditions.
Low recreational catch compared to the pre-update quota led the joint Management Staff to extend the recreational fishery below Bonneville on Thursday, April 12, despite the repeated objections of the Treaty Tribes, whose ceremonial and subsistence fisheries had barely even begun. The recreational fishery below Bonneville is currently slated to close Sunday, April 22, 2012. It is expected that the fishery below Bonneville will reach 98% of its pre-update quota of upriver spring Chinook as of the close of fishing the weekend of April 21-22.
Spring Fact Sheets No. 2 and No. 4 are appended as PDF files, along with the Joint State Action Notices for Thursday, April 12, 2012 and Thursday, April 19, 2012.