Central Washington anglers have a new spot to fish for summer Chinook.
Managers of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery are opening part of their grounds along the river for the first time.
The specific area is “right along the riverfront, just on the other side of the hatchery’s abatement pond,” according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Amanda Smith.
The request came from residents of the northern Chelan County valley, according to the agency, and helps fulfill an edict from Washington DC.
“Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has directed us to provide more fishing and hunting on public land,” said manager Craig Chisam in a press release, “and we’re doing that. We will do everything we can to accommodate it.”
This year will see the second full return of adult summer Chinook since the facility began producing the stock in 2009.
So far around 180 have arrived, and while biologists estimate around 1,200 will eventually show up, Chisam is “hopeful and optimistic that we will be closer to 2,000 because returns have just been on the late side this year.”
According to WDFW catch card data from 2015, the most recent year figures are available for, anglers kept 114 kings that season, mostly in July, but about 40 percent in August and September combined.
The Entiat is open under selective-gear rules and a night closure, with a two-hatchery-Chinook limit through Sept. 15. Salmon fishing is open from the railroad bridge at the mouth to markers 1,500 feet upstream of the upper Roaring Creek Road bridge, where the hatchery is.
Try spoons or spinners. Catch code is 586.
Right now, the Entiat is flowing about average height for this time of year, 362 cubic feet per second.
Fish that make it past anglers and are surplus to hatchery needs are given to area tribes, according to USFWS.