Umatilla, Ore. – If Santa got you a new fishing license for Christmas, you can’t use it at one spot in Oregon for steelhead. Record low numbers of Steelhead in the Columbia River in Eastern Oregon forced officials to shutdown steelhead fishing from McNary Dam in Umatilla, upstream to the Oregon-Washington border. Tucker Jones with OFDW says that is suppose to open at the start of the new year, but now, they’re keeping it shutdown until April. He explains that bad water conditions in the ocean, and low water levels are hurting the fish numbers. This summer, the steelhead return was the fifth lowest at McNary Dam since records were kept in 1954.

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Fishery managers in Oregon and Washington are extending the Columbia River steelhead fishing closure upstream of McNary Dam to the Oregon-Washington state line through March 31, 2020.

The 2019 summer steelhead return is the fifth lowest return to McNary Dam on record since 1954. The continued closure is needed to maximize survival of these fish and ensure sufficient numbers of steelhead will be available to meet hatchery brood stock production needs.

Conservation measures have been in place since July to protect hatchery and wild B-Index steelhead within the Columbia and Snake River basins. 

This area of the Columbia River also remains closed to all salmon fishing.

Always check the Columbia River Zone Recreation Report for the latest in-season regulation changes in this zone