Last month the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that the Deschutes River will be closed to fishing for steelhead, salmon and bass for parts of the summer to protect the river’s seriously at-risk summer steelhead population.
The closures follow the Deschutes River steelhead framework presented by the department earlier this spring, when ODFW forecast very low summer steelhead returns.
The closures apply to steelhead, bass, Coho and Chinook, with closures for steelhead and bass beginning June 1, and closures for both species of salmon beginning August 1. The Deschutes will, however, remain open to trout fishing.
ODFW will conduct in-season run evaluations beginning on July 1, and the Deschutes steelhead fishery may reopen in 2022 depending on wild fish returns at Bonneville Dam.
Fishing closures on the Deschutes are necessary, according to the department, because “last year’s upriver steelhead run to Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River was the lowest since records began in 1938, resulting in the first steelhead fishing closure on the Deschutes since 1978. Encounter rates from sport anglers that catch and release wild summer steelhead are typically high in mid-Columbia tributaries like the Deschutes, where fish stage before migrating to spawning areas throughout the Deschutes and Columbia Basin.”
The closures include:
Steelhead and bass fishing from June 1-Aug. 15, from the mouth at the west bound I-84 Bridge upstream to Pelton Dam.
Chinook salmon fishing from Aug. 1-15, from the mouth at the west bound I-84 Bridge upstream to upper railroad trestle (approximately 3 miles downstream from Sherars Falls).
Coho salmon fishing from Aug. 1-15, from the mouth at the west bound I-84 Bridge upstream to upper railroad trestle (approximately 3 miles downstream from Sherars Falls) and from Sherars Falls upstream to Pelton Dam.Read the rest of the article here.