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Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon Fishing

A great catch while columbia river spring chinook fishing

*UPDATE* 2023 Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon Season Set

Spring Chinook fishing starts out on the Columbia River before moving into the tributaries. Retention of Spring Chinook and Steelhead will be allowed from the Buoy 10 line upstream to Beacon Rock from March 1st through April 7th. Father upriver retention will be allowed from the Tower Island Power lines to the Oregon/Washington border. The daily bag limit is two adult adipose fin-clipped salmonids (Chinook or Steelhead), only one of which may be a Chinook. With this year’s forecast, we should have some good Columbia River Springer opportunities before shifting to the Willamette River to finish out the season, fishing through May and even into June.

2023 Columbia River Spring Chinook Preseason Forecast

Spring Chinook fishing on the Columbia River is just around the corner. Fishery managers released the 2023 Columbia River Spring Chinook forecast and at this point we’re expecting over 300,000 Chinook in the Spring run. That’s a lot of fish and we’ll be chasing them from the end of March through May, possibly June, first on the Columbia River and then on the Willamette River.

Let us know if you would like to get a trip on the calendar.

Columbia River Spring Chinook are probably the most prized of all Spring Chinook. Columbia River Springers have a fat content (good fat!) that is as much as nine times that of their Fall Chinook relatives. Single fish might fetch as much as $600 during some seasons, so as you can imagine, there’s quite a bit of interest on the sport fishing front.

 columbia river spring chinook salmon fishing with guide Lance Fisher

Columbia River Spring Chinook fishing is highly regulated and often times we’ll only get a few weeks of fishing in a given year. Granted, it’s darn good fishing, but way too short for the number of clients that are trying to get out for them.

Seasons from Bonneville Dam to Astoria

Typically you can count on fishing to be worthwhile from the middle of March through the first week of April. The fish move and so do we. If you have a particular location you’re are looking to fish, just let us know. Timing is everything and some sections of the river could be potentially better than others at certain points during the season.

Seasons from Bonneville Dam to the Washington border

The fishing above Bonneville Dam is good for a stint. Usually the last week of April through the first week of May is really the window. The opportunity is brief, but fishing can be lights out. The furthest East we fish is the John Day area. If you need to fish further east, just let me know and I’ll refer you to someone that can help.

When the Columbia is done all the fishing moves into the Willamette River, which we’ll fish from the time the Columbia River closes in early April through the end of the season in May, or sometimes even into June.

Spring Chinook caught on the on the Columbia River with guide Lance Fisher

I run day trips and occasional evening half day trips for my clients. Let me know how I can help, this is definitely one of the region’s favorite seasons. If you’re looking for a place to stay, we’ll be happy to refer you somewhere that will work for your situation.

For any questions you might have about spring Chinook Salmon fishing, or to simply book a trip, contact us or give us a call.