NESPELEM - The Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife Department announced through in-season regulation changes the extension of both the Chief Joseph Dam Tailrace and the Okanogan and Columbia River Summer/Fall Chinook fisheries, Sept. 29.
The two individual announcements both state the fisheries are “extended beyond Sept. 30 and will remain open until closed by the CCT F&W Director.”
Both announcements further state, “Coho retention is allowed,” and “ESA-unlisted Upper Columbia River (UCR) summer/fall Chinook returns to the Columbia River above Wells Dam are sufficient to support continued tribal harvest in 2020. However, the fishery is regulated to avoid significant take of ESA-listed threatened UCR Steelhead needed for escapement and broodstock. Duration of the Chinook fishery is contingent upon staying within ESA steelhead take provisions as described by the CCT Tribal Resource Management Plan and authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion WCR-2014-388.”
The Okanogan River portion of the fishery remains closed to protect ESA-listed Okanogan River population of Upper Columbia River Steelhead.
All fishermen are asked to provide Tribal creel census clerks and authorized Fish & Wildlife personnel with catch information upon request. Fishermen are encouraged to report illegal activity to: Tribal enforcement: (509) 634-2472. Questions regarding the fishery should be directed to: Anadromous Division Program Manager: (509) 978-8031.