SALEM - The Imnaha and Wallowa rivers in Northeast Oregon will open to hatchery spring chinook fishing Saturday, June 13.
Biologists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife estimate more than 5,000 adult spring chinook will return to the Imnaha River, a tributary of the Snake. Of those, approximately 80 percent will be adipose fin-clipped hatchery fish.
On the Wallowa River, a tributary of the Grande Ronde, the adult run is expected to exceed 2,500 fish, of which approximately 50 percent will be marked hatchery fish.
From June 13 through July 12, anglers may fish for spring chinook from the mouth of the Imnaha River upstream 45 miles to Summit Creek Bridge. The Wallowa River will be open from the deadline at the lower end of Minam State Park upstream to the mouth of the Lostine River.
Although ODFW biologists do not expect early closure, they caution the season could be curtailed for conservation reasons.
Consistent with the statewide spring chinook bag limit, anglers may retain two adipose fin-clipped spring chinook adults and five adipose fin-clipped jacks per day, with two daily limits in possession. It is illegal to continue fishing for jack chinook once the adult bag limit is met. Unmarked fish must be released carefully and unharmed.
All other rules remain unchanged from the 2009 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Anglers are reminded that in addition to a valid 2009 Oregon fishing license, they must possess a Combined Angling Tag to fish for spring chinook.
Because private lands border much of the area open to sport angling, anglers are reminded to ask permission before entering private property to fish, and to pick up litter prior to leaving.