Emergency spring chinook restrictions

Retention of wild spring chinook on the Rogue River, set to open June 1, will remain closed to protect wild fish stocks, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists announced today.

The Rogue River from the mouth upstream to Elephant Rock at river mile
3.0 is closed to the harvest of non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon
June 1 through July 11.  Beginning July 12 non-adipose fin-clipped
chinook may be retained, with a bag limit of 2 adult salmon or
steelhead per day, 20 per year, of which only 10 may be non-adipose
fin-clipped chinook salmon.
   
The Rogue River from the
Elephant Rock upstream to Cole Rivers Hatchery Diversion Dam is closed
to the harvest of non-adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon June 1 through
July 31. 
            
This emergency closure is needed to
reduce angling impacts on wild spring chinook salmon. Similar emergency
closures were enacted in the previous two years.
   
Wild spring
chinook over Gold Ray Dam number only in the hundreds so far this year
and biologists do not believe counts will meet the conservation
criteria adopted in the Rogue Spring Chinook Conservation Plan. The
plan calls for a minimum return of 3,500 wild spring chinook in any
given year and a three year average of 5,000.
   
As of May 15,
the chinook run at Gold Ray Dam is just 24 percent of the recent
10-year average at 1,161 fish and is projected to be similar in size to
the 2006 and 2007 runs, the second and third lowest recorded since
counts began in 1942. Last year, just 3,465 wild spring chinook
migrated past Gold Ray Dam.
   
In addition to this temporary
rule on wild spring chinook, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission
will consider harvest restrictions on coastal fall Chinook due to
conservation issues with the populations. The commission meets in Salem
on June 6, and proposed regulations would be in effect August 1 to
December 31.

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