The run is still lurking well off our coast, but Washington salmon managers are getting well ahead of the predicted record return of upriver bright by announcing six-Chinook limits and two-polin’ will be in effect on the Hanford Reach this fall.
WDFW says that the 200,000-plus upriver brights expected onto the free-flowing stretch of the Columbia will be “well in excess of the spawning escapement and hatchery broodstock needs.”
Half of those six kings may be adults.
It wasn’t until Sept. 20 during last year’s huge run that WDFW upped the limit and allowed anglers to use a second rod, with the proper endorsement. This season, those begin starting Aug. 1, and run longer than usual as well, through Oct. 31.
Here’s the official emergency rule-change notice from the agency:
Hanford Reach fall chinook salmon fishery enhancements
Daily limit 6 salmon, up to three (3) may be adult salmon. Once the daily limit of adult salmon is retained, anglers may not continue to fish for any species for the remainder of the day.
The Columbia River between the Highway 395 Bridge and the Old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers is open to fishing for salmon through Oct. 31, 2014.
Fishing with two poles is permitted from the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam if the angler possesses a two-pole license endorsement.
The area of the Columbia River along the Franklin county shoreline between the markers located 100 feet upstream and 100 feet downstream of the Ringold Springs Hatchery Creek and extending in a 100-foot radius (arc) towards mid-river is closed to all fishing.
The Esquatzel Coulee (Block 1) irrigation wasteway embayment at the Columbia River in Franklin Co. is closed to all fishing from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30.
Effective date: Aug. 1, 2014.
Species affected: Chinook salmon.
Location: Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam.
Reason for action: The fall chinook forecast for the Hanford Reach area of the Columbia River is expected to exceed 200,000 adults, well in excess of the spawning escapement and hatchery broodstock needs.
Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon or steelhead. Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Revenue from the CRSSE supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system.