Grande Ronde River Coho Salmon Harvest Open For First Time In 40 Years

Posted on in category Positive News

From our friends at Central Oregon Daily a positive story of Salmon recovery in Oregon.

Anglers will be able to harvest coho salmon in the Grande Ronde River for the first time in 40 years starting Oct. 1.

Coho salmon are making a strong appearance in the Columbia River system this year and counts at Bonneville Dam are well above the ten-year average. READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE. 

Included in that group are the Lostine River Coho, reintroduced by the Nez Perce Tribe (NPT) and ODFW in 2017.

The first two adult runs in 2018 and 2019 returned less than 200 fish to the Lostine River, but in 2020 Lostine River Coho are poised to make their best showing since reintroduction.

A small proportion of coho from the Lostine River are tagged and biologists use detections of tagged coho at mainstem Columbia and Snake River dams to monitor abundance and timing of individual stocks. Based on the current observations, biologists are estimating as many as 3,000 coho originating from the Lostine River could pass Lower Granite Dam, the last dam before they turn up the Grande Ronde River, which is enough to offer some harvest as fish pass through.

The regulations for the coho harvest on the Grande Ronde River will be as follows:

  • Dates Open: Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2020, or until further notice.
  • Open Area: The Grande Ronde River from the Oregon-Washington border upstream to the Grande Ronde River Rd. bridge, approximately 7 miles above the town of Troy, OR.
  • Bag Limits: For adult coho salmon (>20 inches) the bag limit will be two (2). For jack coho salmon (≤ 20 inches) the bag limit will be five (5) with two daily limits in possession.

“We’re excited to offer up the first opportunity to harvest these fish in the Grande Ronde in over 40 years,” said Kyle Bratcher, Assistant District Fish Biologist. While there have been a few reports of coho caught by steelhead anglers in recent years, Bratcher expects a significant increase in catch rates if the run meets the current estimates.