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Rule change allows Coho salmon retention on Columbia River

— Coho salmon fishing opened Oct. 4 on the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Wenatchee, Icicle and Methow Rivers.

The season for Coho will run through Nov. 30.

An estimated 30,000 or more Coho are expected to return this year above Priest Rapids Dam and are in excess of spawning escapement and hatchery broodstock needs. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act.

General rules apply, including daily limit of 2 Coho salmon, minimum 12 inches; selective gear rules are in effect for all Coho fishery areas, except bait allowed on the mainstem Columbia River; night closure in effect for all Coho fishery areas; release all floy (anchor) tagged Coho; motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers (Chelan County Ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions).

The opening includes:

The Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam;

The Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Wenatchee River at the Icicle River Road Bridge, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam;

The Methow River from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing (1 mile upstream from the mouth) to the first state Highway 153 Bridge (4 miles upstream from the mouth).

Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead.

Access to Wanapum Dam Pool is closed at this time. See Grant County PUD website for updates. http://www.grantpud.org/your-pud/media-room/wanapum-dam-spillway-response .

All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for state DFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

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