Citing lower than expected returns of adult spring chinook, ODFW fishery managers announced today that the Deschutes River will close to spring chinook at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, June 7.
According to Rod French, ODFW fish biologist, returns are running far below pre-run estimates of 1,859 wild and 14,400 hatchery fish. He estimated only about 500 hatchery fish have returned to Deschutes hatcheries as of May 31, and only 150 wild fish have returned.
“The run may just be extremely late, but typically 65 percent of the run has returned by this date,” he said. “ Letting the season continue is not a chance we can take and still protect wild fish and insure our hatcheries get enough fish for broodstock.”
The season was originally scheduled to close July 31.