OLYMPIA — Anglers on the Upper Columbia got some nice news Thursday: Starting next week, they can take a maximum of six Chinook salmon every day, including two hatchery adults.

Fish and Wildlife announced the new regulations for fishing on the Columbia between Wells and Rocky Reach Dam, as well as the Entiat and Chelan rivers that feed into it. From July 16 through at least September, the limit is two adults and four jacks — the precocious salmon that head back upriver after a year or less at sea, and range from 12 to 24 inches.

Chad Jackson, fish program manager for the department’s Region 2, said early predictions for the season were grim, but eventually the number of fish returning to Columbia River hatcheries opened up opportunities for salmon harvest. However, he said, “The run as a whole is still pretty low.”

“That’s why we’re not opening larger chunks of the Upper Columbia River,” Jackson said. “This section that we opened is very safe, clean, and has minimal impacts for the spawners we want to return to the Methow and Okanogan and some of those rivers.”

The open season starts one hour before sunrise July 16. May the early angler get the fish.

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013

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