The Columbia River is a large river that forms the western boundary between Southern Washington State and Northern Oregon. Thousands of migrating salmon enter the Columbia River each year as they migrate into the upper tributaries of the river to spawn. The Buoy 10 area is at the mouth of the river, near Astoria, Oregon. Migrating salmon spend time here to rest and feed before their final push into the river system. The aggregation of fish in this area makes it a popular spot for anglers. It’s also a great time to catch the fish when they’re still good to eat, before the spawning migration ravages their body.
In an effort to preserve this great fishery, a portion of this prime area may be closed off next year.
Legislation adopted in Oregon this year requires establishment of a zone at the mouth of Youngs Bay in Astoria that is closed to recreational fishing. Senate Bill 830 says the zone is “to reduce interception of hatchery fish returning to the off-channel fishery in Youngs Bay.’’
The closure zone emerged during the Columbia River sport-commercial fishing reform discussions in 2012.
According to the reform plan, by 2017 gillnets will be limited to off-channel sites such as Youngs Bay with seine fisheries in the main Columbia. Sport-commercial allocations of spring and summer chinook are being shifted to the benefit of sportsmen.
Photos: SoCal Salty (top), The Columbian (above)