Umatilla River basin spring Chinook fishing reopened on May 25

PENDLETON – On May 26, the CTUIR’s Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) released Emergency Tributary Regulations for Spring/Summer Chinook fisheries. The notice came a day after the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife re-opened the Chinook salmon fishery on the Umatilla River.

The Tribe has a treaty harvest of 75 fish on the Umatilla River, where ODFW managers have seen a higher than predicted return of both wild and hatchery spring Chinook salmon to the Umatilla
River basin.

In April, the adult return was not expected to meet the need for broodstock to continue hatchery
operations, therefore, harvest was prohibited and a temporary closure was in place.

The Tribal harvest allocation is based on pre-season forecasts and the FWC may adjust the
harvest target as additional in-season information becomes available to meet management objectives, according to a May 26 release.

In-season adult returns to Three Mile Falls Dam are expected to exceed 1,000 adults, the FWC
stated. “The five year average is approximately 2,086 adult spring Chinook. The broodstock
collection goal of 550 fish has been achieved at Three Mile Falls Dam facility and transported to
the South Fork Walla Walla facility for holding and spawning.”

Fishing locations on the Umatilla River and tributaries include above the HWY 30 bridge at
Umatilla, except for natural production sanctuary areas above the reservation, officials said.

FWC stated sanctuary areas closed to fishing are: The upper mainstem Umatilla River and its
tributaries above the upper reservation boundary; and Meacham Creek and tributaries above
the paved county road bridge about 1/2 mile up Meacham Creek from its mouth.

Non-Indian trout fishing on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is closed through Sept.