The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will open the upper Snake River for spring chinook fishing on Sunday, April 22.  The river will be open to sport fishing seven days a week from Dug Bar Boat Ramp to the deadline below Hells Canyon Dam.  The fishery will remain open until further notice.

The daily bag limit is a total of four adipose fin-clipped spring chinook salmon (adults and jacks) per day, no more than two can be adult salmon longer than 24 inches.  Anglers must stop fishing for salmon for the day when they have kept four salmon or two adult salmon, whichever comes first.  Only barbless hooks may be used. Anglers are reminded to consult the 2012 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for other applicable regulations.

Although the fishery opens this weekend, ODFW and Idaho Fish and Game fishery biologists, who co-manage Snake River sport fisheries, don’t expect anglers to find immediate success.

“Snake River spring chinook are just beginning to arrive in the Columbia,” said Jeff Yanke, ODFW district fish biologist in Enterprise.  “But with the closure of the steelhead season this past weekend, this early notice is a good reminder that chinook fishing is quickly approaching.”

Fishery managers also expect to open spring chinook seasons on some Snake River tributaries in Oregon.

“Our pre-season projections suggest relatively strong runs in both the Imnaha and Grande Ronde basins,” Yanke said.  “However, we will be monitoring the lower Columbia run closely to ensure our projections hold up before announcing these fisheries in May.”

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