Summer Chinook season opens with a bang

King Salmon Image

The Summer Chinook salmon fishing season opened this morning on a portion of the Upper Columbia River. And by the looks of it, fishing was hot.

NCWLIFE Sports Director Eric Granstrom was on the water first thing this morning along with about another 100 boats at Chelan Falls. He says, while the quarters were tight, the fishing was good…

Chinook Opener 2019-07-16

Eric was joined on the boat by his wife, Marion, and friend Dave Koepke. The first fish caught was a 3:30 a.m. by Marion, her first-ever King salmon. The boat was limited (2-adult hatchery Chinook per person) by 7:30 a.m.

“Returns to the hatcheries in this portion of the Columbia were enough to support their programs,” said Granstrom. As a result, they were able to open the season from Rocky Reach Dam to Wells Dam. A portion of the Entiat River and mouth of the Chelan River also opened today.

Granstrom said, “we launched just after midnight and were the only boat on the water. Things really picked up at about 4 a.m. with both launches (Beebe Park & Chelan Falls Park) becoming madhouses.” By 4:30, Granstrom estimated there was about 100-boats fishing the stretch of the Columbia River from Chelan Falls Park to Beebe Bridge.

All six fish landed by the anglers on Granstrom’s boat were hatchery fish ranging from 8-pound to 15-pounds. He said the dam counts look good for fishing to continue to be hot for a while. “The Army Corp of Engineers dam counts had over 23,000 Summer Chinook over Rocky Reach Dam this week. As of this morning, there’s about 12,000 in the water somewhere between Rocky Reach and Wells, so fishing should remain good,” said Granstrom.