Improved steelhead returns allow angling on lower Deschutes after Aug. 15

Date:
July 30, 2022
Improved steelhead returns allow angling on lower Deschutes after Aug. 15

Improved conditions in Oregon fisheries this year will allow salmon, steelhead, trout, and bass fishing to open Aug. 15 on the lower Deschutes River, according to a release from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.Fishing will open under normal permanent regulations on the Deschutes from Moody Rapids upstream to Pelton Dam, thanks to improved summer steelhead returns.Following last year’s critically low returns in steelhead — fish that would have spawned in spring 2022 — ODFW announced a new Deschutes River steelhead fishery plan to take conservation action during low returns.The plan closes the lower Deschutes River fishery until passage thresholds at Bonneville Dam are met to assure ODFW managers that the sport fishery will not have population impacts.In May, the department announced that the usual summertime steelhead fishing season on the Deschutes would be closed from June 1 to Aug. 15 due to the new plan. Early returns of A-run steelhead — steelhead that spend less time in the ocean — are sufficient to warrant re-opening on the Deschutes to angling on Aug. 15, according to an ODFW release.The department needed to surpass 9,900 unmarked steelhead over Bonneville Dam during the month of July to open the fishery on Aug. 15 to get above conservation concern levels, according to Jason Seals, district fish biologist with ODFW.Seals added that the department is expecting modest returns based on run projections to the Deschutes “but within abundance levels that the fishery won’t have population impact.”

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