Tag Archives: snake river

Hells Yeah, WA Snake Opening For Fall Kings From Mouth Into Canyon

THE FOLLOWING IS A WDFW EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE

Snake River to open for fall chinook salmon fishing

Action: The Snake River will open for harvest of fall chinook salmon.

HATCHERY FALL CHINOOK WILL BE FAIR GAME ON WASHINGTON’S SNAKE RIVER BETWEEN THE MOUTH AND UP INTO HELLS CANYON. BILL STANLEY OF SPOKANE LANDED THIS ONE BELOW LOWER GRANITE DAM A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Locations: The Snake River from the mouth (Burbank-to-Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Oregon state line (approximately seven miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River).

Dates:  Aug. 18 through Oct. 31, 2017.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Reason for action: The 2017 Columbia River forecasted return of upriver bright adults is 260,000, with a significant portion of these fish expected to return to the Snake River. Retention of hatchery fall chinook is not expected to increase impacts to ESA-listed wild fall chinook. Therefore, hatchery fall chinook, marked by a clipped adipose fin, and all jack chinook over 12 inches can be retained in the Snake River.

Daily limits: The salmon daily harvest limit is six (6) hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) fall chinook adults (24 inches in length and larger) and 6 clipped or unclipped jack fall chinook (less than 24 inches). Minimum size for chinook that can be retained in the Snake River is 12 inches. Anglers must cease fishing for salmon and steelhead once they have retained their daily limit of either steelhead or adult salmon.

Other information: The fishery is open seven days per week. Adipose fin-clipped fish must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.  All adult chinook and steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed. WDFW is requiring that all Washington licensed anglers cease fishing for the day once they have retained their daily limit of either steelhead or adult salmon as a method to reduce catch and release mortality on steelhead. In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River. Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.  Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because returning unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.

Anglers are reminded the Snake River is closed to steelhead fishing from Bridge St. Bridge in Clarkston to the Oregon/Idaho Border. WDFW is working with Idaho Fish and Game to set a steelhead fishery on this section of the river by Sept. 1.

Low returns of steelhead have been predicted for the Snake River and tributaries for this return year. Low adult steelhead abundance may create the need for fishery closures to minimize angling impacts.  Anglers should continue to check emergency regulations for new and changing seasons. In addition, anglers are reminded to refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other rules and regulations.

Snake’s Boyer Park Tops Again For Pikeminnow Removers

Boyer Park on the Snake below Lower Granite Dam maintained its grip as the most productive midsummer spot for pikeminnow for the fourth week in a row with a haul of 1,345 qualifying fish last week.

Though the July 24-30 catch is also down from the previous week, it’s still nearly 575 more than the second best station, Greenbelt, also on the Snake, where 774 were brought in for the sport reward program.

A MAP ON PIKEMINNOW.ORG SHOWS HOT SPOTS AROUND BOYER PARK, WHICH IS BELOW LOWER GRANITE DAM ON THE SNAKE RIVER. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

Coming in third and fourth were two Lower Columbia stations: Cathlamet, with 701, and Kalama, with 510, according to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther.

Winther also reported that this year’s fishery will now run all the way through Sept. 30. There had been some question whether funding would be available after Aug. 31.

The week’s overall catch was 6,468, down from 7,148.

Lyons Ferry had the highest catch per angler, with 20.2 for the six participants, followed by 17.3 at Giles French and 14.2 at Beacon Rock.

The overall average per angler was 6.3 pikeminnows for 1,024 participants, up about half a fish a fisherman over the previous week.

Six specially tagged pikeminnow were turned in last week, with two at Cathlamet, and one each at Gleason, Chinook Landing, Giles French and Greenbelt.

All totaled, 127,482 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season May 1.

The Dalles has been most productive, with 43,847, followed by Boyer Park at 15,399 and Columbia Point at 14,933.

Average catch is 6.9, with a range from 10.7 at The Dalles to 1.5 at Umatilla.

Just under 210 tagged fish have been turned in.

Effort is 18,548 on the season.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to remove the native species that preys on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Pikeminnow Catches Dipping On Columbia, Snake

Pikeminnow catches dropped by more than 1,700 last week over the previous one, with 7,148 brought to stations on the Columbia and Snake Rivers July 17-23.

That figure is also less than half of what it was a month ago but reflective of the typical seasonal lull in the fishery that pays anglers to remove the native species that preys on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

THE PIKEMINNOW SPORT REWARD PROGRAM OFFERS INCENTIVES TO CATCH THE SPECIES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA UP TO TRI-CITIES, AND IN THE SNAKE FROM TRI-CITIES UP TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

For the third straight week, Boyer Park on the Snake below Lower Granite Dam retained its spot as most productive, with a haul of 1,771 qualifying fish,

That’s nearly 1,000 more than the second best station, Greenbelt, also on the Snake, where 787 were brought in, according to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther.

Coming in third was The Dalles, with 675, then Cathlamet, on the Lower Columbia, with 622.

Giles French had the highest catch per angler, with 15.2 for the 38 participants, followed by 9.3 at Cascade Locks and 8.9 at Boyer Park.

The overall average per angler was 5.8 pikeminnow for 1,235 participants, down about a fish a fisherman over the previous week.

Eight specially tagged pikeminnow were turned in last week, up from five the week before, with three at Columbia Point, and one each at Cathlamet, Gleason, Washougal, The Dalles and Greenbelt.

All totaled, 121,014 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season May 1.

The Dalles has been most productive, with 43,613, followed by Columbia Point at 14,681 and Boyer Park 14,054.

Average catch is 6.9, with a range from 11.0 at The Dalles to 1.5 at Willow Grove and Umatilla.

Just over 200 tagged fish have been turned in.

Effort is 17,524 on the season.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Snake’s Boyer Park Again Tops Among Pikeminnow Stations

Pikeminnow catches dipped below five figures for the first week since mid-May, with 8,867 brought to stations on the Columbia and Snake last week.

For the second straight week, Boyer Park retained its spot as most productive, with a July 10-16 haul of 2,762 qualifying fish, more than twice as many as The Dalles, where 1,140 were brought in, according to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther

A MAP ON PIKEMINNOW.ORG SHOWS HOT SPOTS AROUND BOYER PARK, WHICH IS BELOW LOWER GRANITE DAM ON THE SNAKE RIVER. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

Coming in third was Cathlamet, on the Lower Columbia, with 785, then Greenbelt, outside Clarkston, with 710.

Both the rise of Boyer and downtrending of the overall catch are typical for this time of year.

Boyer Park again had the highest catch per angler, with 11.7 for the 236 participants, down from an even 16.0 the previous week, followed by 10.2 at both Ridgefield and Washougal.

The overall average per angler was 6.9 pikeminnow for 1,279 participants.

All totaled, 113,866 qualifying pikeminnow that have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season May 1. The Dalles has been most productive, with 42,991, followed by Columbia Point at 14,329 and Boyer Park 12,288.

Five specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, down from 15 the week before, but with two at Washougal, and one each at Rainier, Ridgefield and Boyer Park.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Pikeminnow Catch Tops 100,000 For The Season So Far

Pikeminnow catches have topped the 100,000-fish mark for the season as the sport reward program yielded 10,082 last week, as well as a new top station.

Anglers turned in the most fish at Boyer Park, on the Snake, taking over from The Dalles station on the Columbia, which had otherwise been most productive every week since the May 1 start of the fishery.

THE PIKEMINNOW SPORT REWARD PROGRAM OFFERS INCENTIVES TO CATCH THE SPECIES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA UP TO TRI-CITIES, AND IN THE SNAKE FROM TRI-CITIES UP TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

According to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther, 3,065 qualifying pikeminnows came in to Boyer Park from July 3-9, 1,798 to The Dalles and 1,099 to Columbia Point, near the confluence of the two rivers.

Boyer Park also had the highest catch per angler, with 16.0 for the 191 participants, followed by 11.3 at Giles French and 8.9 for The Dalles.

But The Dalles can still account for 41,851 of the 104,999 qualifying pikeminnow that have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season.

And that’s the most there since the 2006 season concluded.

Fifteen specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with six of those turned in at The Dalles, three at Columbia Point, two at Cascade Locks, and one each at Kalama, Gleason, Boyer Park and Greenbelt.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Pikeminnow Catches Surge Past 80,000-Fish Mark For Reward Season

Pikeminnow catches jumped sharply over the previous week on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, with 14,540 qualifying fish brought in for the sport reward program June 19-25.

That’s the most so far for any week since fishing began May 1, and 3,500-plus fish more than the 10,950 brought in June 12-18.

Part of the surge came from The Dalles station, which again recorded the highest number overall, with 5,446 checked, up from 3,915 the week before.

A MAP ON PIKEMINNOW.ORG SHOWS THE LOCATION OF TRADITIONALLY GOOD SPOTS, THOUGH IN THIS HIGH-WATER YEAR, THOSE COULD BE DIFFERENT. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

That also brings this year’s The Dalles haul of 37,047 to within, possibly, a week of topping the station’s entire 2016 tally, but fishing has to stay strong to match 2004’s high mark of 54,428.

Action also improved on the Snake, where Boyer Park took in 1,864 pikeminnow, an increase of 50 percent, and Columbia Point Park, at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia, saw 1,472.

Kalama again saw the highest catch per registered angler of the week, with 26 fishermen accounting for 192 pikeminnow, an average of 18.9 fish each, a slight dropoff from the previous week’s 20.0 per.

Other stations seeing relatively high catch per angler include The Dalles (16.1), Bingen (13.8) and Beacon Rock (11.9).

Fourteen specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with  six of those turned in at The Dalles, three at Columbia Point, two at Chinook Landing and Boyer Park, and one at Bingen.

Since the 2017 season started May 1, 83,375 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake, 83,894 overall.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

Columbia-Snake Pikeminnow Program Catch Nears 70,000

Pikeminnow catches ticked up over the previous week on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, with 10,950 qualifying fish brought in for the sport reward program June 12-18.

Once again The Dalles station recorded the highest number overall, with 3,915 checked, a dropoff of about 900 fish over June 5-11, but this year’s catch to date of 31,563 there has already surpassed nine of the last 10 complete seasons.

A SCREEN SHOT OF A MAP PUT TOGETHER BY THE NORTHERN PIKEMINNOW SPORT-REWARD PROGRAM SHOWS BOAT LAUNCHES AND HOT SPOTS AROUND CATHLAMET, WHERE THE LOWEST CATCH STATION ON THE COLUMBIA IS. DOZENS MORE STRETCH UPSTREAM TO PRIEST RAPIDS DAM, AND UP THE SNAKE TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

Action heated up on the Snake, where Boyer Park took in 1,102 pikeminnow, while on the Lower Columbia, 899 were recorded at Kalama.

Speaking of Kalama, it saw the highest catch per registered angler of the week, with 45 fishermen accounting for those 899 pikeminnow, an average of 20.0 fish each.

Other stations seeing relatively high catch per angler include Washougal (13.7), The Dalles (12.1) and Cascade Locks (11.1).

Thirty-one specially tagged pikeminnow were caught last week, with seven of those turned in at Bingen, six each at The Dalles and Columbia Point, five at Washougal, and one each at Cathlamet, Rainier, Kalama, Gleason, Giles French, Umatilla and Boyer Park.

Since the 2017 season started May 1, 69,195 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake, 69,340 overall.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500. The idea is to reduce the numbers of the native species that prey on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org, and if you’re interested in putting your angling skills to work, check out the June 22 seminar coming to Longview and put on by program leader Eric Winther.

IDFG, UI Studying Brownlee, Snake River Smallmouth

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME

A stunned smallmouth bass emerged from the flood-swollen Snake River. It was a slab by anyone’s standards – 19 inches and 4.5 pounds, mottled bronze with dark bars on its broad sides and as pot bellied as a sumo wrestler.

If you’re wondering “where does a smallmouth like that come from?” Idaho Fish and Game biologists and a University of Idaho graduate student are wondering the same thing, and they’re working to find out.

IDFG REGIONAL FISH PROGRAM MANAGER JOE KOZFKAY HOLDS A MOMENTARILY STUNNED SMALLMOUTH CAPTURED AS PART OF A STUDY OF BASS BETWEEN BROWNLEE AND SWAN FALLS DAMS. (ROGER PHILLIPS, IDFG)

The bass rose to the surface of the cold water because it was momentarily stunned by an electrical current, then netted, weighed, measured and surgically implanted with a pill-sized transmitter that will send a radio signal to receivers, which will track its whereabouts in the Snake River between Swan Falls Dam and Brownlee Reservoir.

Bass fishing in the river sections between Swan Falls and Brownlee Reservoir is inconsistent, Fish and Game’s Southwest Region Fish Manager Joe Kozfkay said. It’s good in some sections and poor in others, and same for tributaries. Biologists want to find out why.

THIS PILL-SIZED DEVICE WILL HELP FISHERIES BIOLOGISTS TRACK BASS DURING THE STUDY. (ROGER PHILLIPS, IDFG)

Because of smallmouths’ popularity and recreational importance, more information is needed to better manage the fishery. Most of the previous research focused on Brownlee Reservoir, largely due to the popularity of its smallmouth fishery, and also issues related to dam relicensing.

“Brownlee Reservoir is one of the better smallmouth bass fisheries in the West,” Kozfkay said.

By comparison, less is known about the bass upstream of the reservoir and in the Snake River tributaries, such as the Boise, Payette and Weiser rivers. Biologists want to learn whether those smallmouths are one large population, or independent populations, and if different, how should they be managed to enhance and/or protect the existing fishery.

Fisheries managers aren’t expecting any big surprises or anticipating major changes in current rules for bass fishing, but one never knows until the studies are undertaken.

“While the overall bass population seems to be doing very well, we have some real questions about how much smallmouth move around,” said Jeff Dillon, Fish and Game’s state fish manager. “Those movement patterns are key to knowing whether different harvest rules might be beneficial in some areas.”

A SMALLMOUTH AWAITS ATTENTION FROM KOZFKAY. (ROGER PHILLIPS, IDFG)

Biologists did a similar study decades ago on channel catfish and learned there’s a “giant swirling population” between Swan Falls and Brownlee dams where fish move up and down the river and can easily sustain harvest levels.

Evidence suggests that some smallmouths spawn in tributaries where they may be more susceptible to angler harvest. But is the current level of harvest sustainable, or is it detrimental to the population?

The study will determine ages, growth rates, mortality, age at maturity, and recruitment, then use population simulation models to see how different harvest regulations might affect the Snake’s smallmouth fishery.

Biologists have been capturing smallmouths this spring in different sections of the Snake River, and also in the Boise, Payette and Weiser rivers, and implanting more than 150 of them with tracking transmitters.

Crews will do multiple surveys throughout the year to see if fish seasonally migrate during spring, summer, fall and winter. Smallmouths will also be genetically tested to determine whether populations are interrelated or separate.

Lastly, 1,130 smallmouths have been marked with orange tags with a phone number and website where anglers can report where they caught the fish, and whether they harvested it or released it. Reporting the tag number and location will help biologists know where the fish was caught compared to when and where it was tagged, and how many fish are being harvested.

Based on previous research in Brownlee, biologists know about 25 percent of the legal-sized bass get harvested from that reservoir each year, which Kozfkay said is sustainable without decreasing the overall population.

If biologists determined there was a localized population in the Snake or the tributaries where 35  to 40 percent of larger smallmouths were being harvested, rule changes might be considered to protect some of them.

Kozfkay said he’d be surprised if harvest rate was high on the larger smallmouths prized by anglers, but one complaint biologists frequently hear is about a lack of fish exceeding the 12-inch minimum harvest size.

The study will help biologists determine if there’s actually a lack of fish in that size range, or if they are simply eluding anglers.

WDFW Sets Snake Spring Chinook Season

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.

Locations:

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).

THE WALL, WHERE JEFF MAIN CAUGHT THIS 25-POUNDER SEVERAL SEASONS BACK, AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SNAKE RIVER WILL OPEN FOR SPRING CHINOOK LATER THIS MONTH. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

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.