Imnaha and Wallowa Rivers Open For Spring Chinook Fishing

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Wallowa River ENTERPRISE, Ore—The Fourth of July weekend just got better for anglers fishing the Imnaha and Wallowa rivers in northeast Oregon.  Beginning Friday, July 4, both rivers will open to hatchery spring chinook fishing through Sunday, July 13.

“It is nice to see our efforts pay off for the sport angler,” said Brad Smith, ODFW fish biologist from the Enterprise district office.  “This is the first chinook fishery on the Wallowa River in 30 years, thanks to a successful hatchery program.  We’re excited to offer anglers the opportunity to fish for Oregon’s premier sport fish on some of nicest rivers in the state.”

ODFW biologists estimate about 3,681 spring chinook are returning to these rivers this year. Of those, approximately 74 percent are hatchery fish.

Anglers may fish for spring chinook on the Imnaha River from the mouth to Summit Creek Bridge (River Mile 45). On the Wallowa River, anglers may fish for spring chinook from the deadline at the lower end of Minam State Park upstream to the confluence with the Lostine River.

The bag limit for each of these fisheries is one adipose fin-clipped adult chinook and five adipose fin-clipped jacks; 2 daily limits in possession. It is illegal to continue fishing for jack chinook once the adult bag limit is met.  All unmarked fish must be carefully released unharmed.

In addition to a valid 2008 Oregon fishing license, anglers must possess a Combined Angling Tag to fish for spring chinook. All other statewide salmon gear restrictions provided in the 2008 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations apply.

Because private lands border much of the area open to sport angling, anglers are reminded to ask permission before entering private property to fish.