The end of summer, a smaller run of fall chinook to the upper Columbia, and no sockeye fishery this year have all combined to cut the number of anglers fishing kings in the Basin.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Ryan Fortier said fewer fishermen means a less competitive, more relaxed experience, and that although the run is down and fishing isn’t red hot, there are still enough chinook to provide a slow but steady fishery through the end of the season on Oct. 15.
The best fishing, Fortier said, is in the Brewster Pool, off the mouth of the Okanogan and across from the Bridgeport boat ramp, just below Chief Joseph Dam. Any king caught with a hole punched in the upper lobe of the tail fin must be released.
Chinook fishing also continues on the Wenatchee River through the end of this month, and Department of Fish and Wildlife district biologist Travis Maitland said there are still some nice fish to be caught.
“Anglers willing to spend some time are still catching chinook in very good shape,” he said.
All coho and wild chinook must be released, and selective gear rules are in effect.
Following a rule change in mid-August, the Entiat River is open to wild chinook.