Portions Of Snake River Opening For Spring Chinook

THE FOLLOWING IS A WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE

Action: Spring chinook salmon fishing opens two days per week on sections of the Snake River.

Species affected: Spring chinook

LITTLE GOOSE DAM IN THE BACKGROUND, JEFF MAIN OF SPOKANE HOLDS A 25-POUND SPRING CHINOOK CAUGHT OUT OF THE SNAKE RIVER A FEW SEASONS BACK. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

Locations and dates:

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. Opens Friday, April 20, and will be open only Fridays and Saturdays until further notice.

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). Opens Sunday, April 22, and will be open only Sundays and Mondays until further notice. 

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 Washington-Idaho boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore). Opens Sunday, April 22, and will be open only Sundays and Mondays until further notice.  

Daily Limits: Six hatchery chinook (marked by a clipped adipose fin), of which no more than one may be an adult.  Anglers must cease fishing for salmon when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Reason for action: A relatively good forecast of spring chinook combined with limited weekly openings in each zone should allow for a prolonged season, which was requested by anglers. The restrictions on the fishery should also help ensure sharing of fishing opportunities with upriver fishery zones and compliance with Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions and harvest allocations available for the Snake River.

Other Information:  Anglers may retain chinook that are 12 inches or larger. Adult chinook are 24 inches or larger. Anglers can retain only hatchery chinook, marked with a clipped adipose fin (chinook must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin).  Any chinook salmon with an intact adipose fin, as well as all bull trout and steelhead must be immediately released unharmed.

In addition:  Anglers fishing for chinook salmon must use barbless hooks. A night closure is in effect or salmon fishing. Anglers cannot remove any chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is to be retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2017-2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations. 

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