Fall Fishery Update
The fall season fisheries officially began on August 1. Sales of platform fish had continued from the summer season, but there number of fish around during the first part of August was small, so catches were light. The first fall commercial gillnet fishery opened on August 18. The counts at Bonneville have already begun to pick up and everybody is wondering if the prediction of a record fall chinook return will be accurate. Even if it doesn’t quite turn out to be a record run, it ought to be a very big one.
The fall fisheries, just like spring and summer, are managed according to harvest rate schedules that were agreed to by all the U.S. v. Oregon parties in the 2008-2017 Management Agreement. This means both treaty and non-treaty fisheries are managed on the same river mouth Upriver Bright run size. Both fisheries are adjusted during the season as actual run size data is received. B steelhead will likely be a complicating factor in the fall fishery this year because this run is likely going to be pretty average. The tribes will be working on ways to maximize the chinook catch while making sure the B steelhead impacts stay within the harvest rate limit in the U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement. The tribes did set five weeks of commercial gillnet fishing right at the start of the season with an above average amount of fishing time each week. This should help fishers catch a lot of chinook before many B steelhead have reached Zone 6. If the chinook run does come in as big as predicted, there will be a lot of fish to catch.. These updates come out at least a couple times per week