May 20, 2010

LA GRANDE — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will release several hundred spring chinook salmon into the Powder River creating a unique fishing opportunity for anglers. A season has been established to harvest these fish beginning on May 22 and extending to September 1, 2010. The open area is from Hughes Lane Bridge near Baker City to Mason Dam. The daily bag limit is 2 spring chinook salmon.

This opportunity has been made possible due to an anticipated surplus of spring chinook returning to Hells Canyon Dam on the Snake River. Due to the large run predicted this year, the number of fish released into the Powder this year should surpass the number released in any previous year, said Tim Bailey, ODFW District Fish Biologist. Salmon smolts are released at Hells Canyon Dam for the express purpose of providing fisheries in the Snake River. When salmon numbers are determined by the fishery co-managers to be in excess of this need, some salmon are trapped at Hells Canyon Dam and transported to tributaries to provide unique fishing opportunities.
The salmon will be released immediately below Mason Dam. The first releases are planned to begin the week prior to the season and to continue for approximately three weeks.