Wednesday, June 22
Summer run salmon are pouring up the Columbia River and there will be plenty of them in our region in time for the opening of the season on July 1. What everyone is watching though is the numbers of sockeye that are coming with them. The forecast for sockeye this year was dismal, but they have already passed the 10-year average. It is difficult to gauge the return of sockeye. We just havenít had the big runs we seen the past few years ever before. If they keep coming they may just surprise everyone and we could have a season. Keep your fingers crossed. It would be great if it happened. If you want to hone your skills at catching summer salmon you will want to attend the free seminar being offered by Bob Feil Boats and Motors. It will be held at their dealership on Sunset Highway in East Wenatchee on Tuesday, July 12, starting at 6 p.m. Austin Moser, of Austinís Northwest Adventures will be there to share his secrets, and I will be there to talk about some other prime summer fisheries. If you want to make the most of your time on the water fishing for salmon this season, better be there.
Friday, June 24
Beginning July 1 anglers are going to be able to keep two hatchery sturgeon per day from the Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs, according to a recent news release from WDFW. Several thousand juvenile sturgeon were released into the upper Columbia in 2003 and these hatchery fish have grown to harvestable size. Anglers will be able to keep two hatchery sturgeon per day, between 38 and 72 inches, from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs. Sturgeon caught in these two reservoirs will not count toward the anglerís annual limit for sturgeon. Anglers will not be required to record sturgeon harvested from these two reservoirs on their catch record cards. Angler participation and success will determine whether the WDFW will allow continued fishing after the scheduled closing date of this fishery on Sept. 30. I encourage anglers to read the complete details on this fishery. Please visit the departmentís website and look under new fishing rules. This the first time in nearly two decades anglers have been allowed to retain sturgeon in this section of the Columbia River.