Is Salmon Fishing Open on the Columbia River?

If you are a fishing enthusiast, then you must be aware of the pristine fishing opportunities that Columbia River presents. The river is home to various species of fish, but salmon is undoubtedly the most sought-after catch by anglers.

However, one question that often bothers fishermen is whether salmon fishing is open on the Columbia River or not. Let’s dive into this topic to clear all your doubts.

Overview of Columbia River

Columbia River is a massive water body that spans over 1200 miles, starting from British Columbia in Canada and flowing through seven US states before ending up in the Pacific Ocean. The river has numerous dams constructed on it to generate hydroelectric power and regulate its flow for irrigation purposes. These dams have also created excellent fishing opportunities for anglers.

Salmon Fishing Regulations

Salmon fishing on the Columbia River is regulated by both federal and state agencies. The regulations are put in place to ensure sustainable salmon populations and protect vulnerable species from overfishing. Therefore, it’s essential to know the current regulations before planning your next fishing trip.

Federal Regulations

The Federal Government manages salmon fishing in the ocean waters (upstream of Cape Falcon, Oregon). The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) develops annual management plans that set quotas for commercial and recreational fisheries. These quotas are then allocated among different states based on their historical catch records.

State Regulations

Each state has its regulations governing salmon fishing within its jurisdictional boundaries (mainly upstream of Cape Falcon). These regulations can differ significantly between different states, depending on their management objectives and conservation goals.

Is Salmon Fishing Open on the Columbia River?

Yes, salmon fishing is open on the Columbia River in all jurisdictions where it flows through different states. However, it’s essential to keep track of current regulations as they can change frequently. The fishing season usually starts in March and ends in October, but the exact dates can vary depending on the species and location.


Columbia River provides excellent salmon fishing opportunities for anglers. However, it’s crucial to follow all the regulations put in place to ensure sustainable fishing practices.

Always check with local authorities before planning your next salmon fishing trip to avoid any legal consequences. With proper planning and adherence to regulations, you can have an unforgettable salmon fishing experience on the Columbia River.

Photo of author

Emma Gibson