THE FOLLOWING IS A WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE
Action/Species affected: Spring chinook salmon fishing to open on the Snake River.
A) Below Ice Harbor Dam: Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam.
B) Below Little Goose Dam: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility).
C) Clarkston: Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).
Dates: Each area is open two days per week until further notice.
Area A (Below Ice Harbor Dam) opens Friday, April 28, and will be open only Friday and Saturday each week.
Areas B and C (Below Little Goose Dam and near Clarkston) open Sunday, April 30, and will be open only Sunday and Monday each week.
Daily limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon. For all areas open to chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing for salmon when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.
Reason for action: Based on the pre-season prediction for a relatively good return of spring chinook and angler input requesting an emphasis for a longer fishery season, Snake River fisheries in each of these zones are open for only two days per week (with only one weekend day included each week) with a daily bag limit of only one adult hatchery chinook.
The restrictions on the fishery help prolong the duration of the season, ensure sharing of fishing opportunities with upriver fishery zones, and enable managers to ensure that the fisheries comply with Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions and harvest allocations available for the Snake River.
Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook salmon is 12 inches. Jacks are less than 24 inches long.
The adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon that can be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All chinook salmon with the adipose fin intact, and all bull trout and steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed.
In addition, anglers fishing for all species, in the areas open for chinook salmon, during the days of the week the salmon fishery is open in that area, must use barbless hooks.
Only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon. It will be unlawful to use any hook larger than 5/8 inch (point of hook to shank) when fishing for all species except sturgeon.
Anglers cannot remove any chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily limit.
Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2016/2017 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, closed waters, etc.
Information Contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist (509) 382-1005.