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According to Todd Alsbury, ODFW fish biologist, the increase from two to three hatchery coho per day was prompted by surveys and trap counts indicating strong returns to Portland area rivers.
On several days over the past week more than 250 adult coho passed North Fork Dam on the Clackamas River and numbers are increasing daily over Willamette Falls, Alsbury said. In addition, anglers targeting coho salmon in the lower Clackamas and Sandy rivers this week have caught a fair number of fish, providing more evidence of strong returns of hatchery coho this year.
“We were expecting a strong return of coho this year,” Alsbury said. “However, we’re excited to see a return that should far exceed our expectations.”
Beginning Friday, through Dec. 31, 2014, anglers may retain three adipose fin-clipped coho on the lower Willamette, Sandy and Clackamas rivers and on Eagle Creek, a tributary of the Clackamas River. This temporary rule does not apply to areas above Willamette Falls where the coho bag limit remains two adipose or non-adipose fin clipped coho.
Anglers are reminded they are still subject to combined daily limits of two other popular fall fish – steelhead and chinook salmon, which vary from stream to stream. Regulations also require the use of barbless hooks when fishing the lower Willamette River or Clackamas River below Hwy 99E. Anglers should consult the 2014 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations for more information on regulations, seasons and bag limits for steelhead and other salmon species.
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