May 21, 2012
JOHN DAY, Ore. — For the first time in 36 years, anglers will be able to fish for spring chinook salmon in the John Day River.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today that a 20-mile stretch of the river near Kimberly will open for spring chinook beginning Wednesday, May 23 through Sunday, June 3.
The opening of the season marks a major milestone in the rebound of wild spring chinook populations in the John Day. Chinook returns have exceeded subbasin goals for the last three years and biologists predict another high return this year, according to Jeff Neal, ODFW district fish biologist in John Day.
“The comeback of this wild salmon population was made possible by all the fish habitat and passage work that landowners, particularly on upper mainstem John Day, have done,” he said.
The river will be open from the Longview Ranch’s Johnson Creek Division bridge (about 200 feet upstream of the mouth of the North Fork John Day) upstream to the mouth of Rattlesnake Creek (near the south end of Picture Gorge).
The daily bag limit is two adult chinook salmon and five jack salmon; it is unlawful to continue fishing for jacks after taking a daily bag limit of two adult chinook salmon.
ODFW will be conducting a creel survey during the fishery to help determine angler effort and success, and any possible impact on other fish such as bull trout or steelhead. In addition to contacting anglers in the open area, ODFW will have a check station on weekends and randomly selected weekdays to gain additional biological information from harvested fish. All anglers are encouraged to stop by the check station before leaving the area.
For more information contact the John Day field office at 541-575-1167.