ILWACO — The Columbia River Compact agencies of Oregon and Washington canceled a mainstem commercial gillnet fishery that was set for overnight Aug. 31-Sept. 1.
Seasons are carefully designed and monitored to stay within quotas established to aid recovery of troubled salmon runs and meet legal obligations to the Columbia River treaty tribes. In the case of the last August gillnet opening, the upriver bright Chinook salmon allocation has already been reached, necessitating a slightly early end to the summer fishery.
Landings for the six periods between Aug. 10-27 totaled 16,312 Chinook, 305 coho and 398 white sturgeon, according to fish receiving tickets undated through Aug. 27.
Contrary to initially pessimistic expectations on the part of compact managers, the sixth gillnetting period that concluded at 6 a.m. on Aug. 27 saw the second-highest catch total out of the six "early-fall" gillnet periods, with 4,210 Chinook netted — second only to the Aug. 24-25 opening, with a catch of 5,394 Chinook.
2020 fall Select Area commercial fisheries began Aug. 4 in Youngs Bay. Landings through Aug. 20 were “extremely poor” with only 74 Chinook and 9 coho delivered.
Buoy 10 recreational fishermen kept 992 Chinook between Aug. 14 and Aug. 27 when the Chinook retention season closed, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reported. During the same period, 355 coho were kept.