#04 Columbia River Salmon Fishing


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It is estimated that at one time the Columbia River had returns of salmon somewhere between 13 and 17 million wild fish. Although the river in its current state may see returns of 2 million fish on a good year, it is still the strongest fishery for salmon in the lower 48 states! The river has enjoyed healthy returns of hatchery (and some wild) salmon in the late 1990’s through 2001 and hopefully for the next several years to come. The first place these fish become available to the sport angler is the mouth of the Columbia River near Astoria. This area, known as the estuary, will be defined in this report as the river between Buoy 10 on the bar upstream to Tongue Point on the Oregon side. Over 100,000 angler trips were logged for Oregon and Washington anglers in the Lower Columbia River (Bonneville Dam downstream) in 1998. And this is with a short Buoy 10 season!