Pendleton, Ore.—Spring Chinook fishing will open under normal permanent regulations on the Umatilla River this year for the first time since 2018.
Due to poor returns, the fishery was closed entirely in 2020 and 2019, and did not open until May 25 last year. Fishery managers are predicting a good return of approximately 3,000 spring Chinook for the Umatilla River this year, which is almost double last year’s actual return.
Regulations for the fishery are as follows:
- Open for adult hatchery Chinook from April 16 to June 10 from the Hwy 730 bridge to Three Mile Falls Dam and from April 16 to June 30 from Three Mile Falls Dam to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation boundary (approximately 0.7 mi above Hwy 11 bridge).
- The catch limit is two adult hatchery salmon per day, and five hatchery jack salmon per day.
- All wild Chinook salmon must be released unharmed.
- One the harvest quota has been reached, the fishery will be closed.
According to Taylor McCroskey, ODFW fish biologist, the Umatilla fishery provides anglers opportunities of catching a spring Chinook both on the bank and also via boat in the first three quarters of a river mile above the Hwy 730 bridge. McCroskey said the run usually peaks in mid to late May due to the warmer water temperatures in the Umatilla River. Anglers have multiple spots they can access the river and should check landownership prior to fishing to make sure they are allowed access at that location.
Remember to always check for the latest regulations before fishing by visiting the Recreation Report for the Northeast Fishing Zone visit https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/northeast-zone