THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Action: The Snake River will open for the harvest of fall chinook salmon.
On the Columbia River from the railroad bridge between Burbank and Kennewick upstream approximately 2.1 miles to the first power line crossing upstream of the navigation light on the point of Sacajawea State Park (Snake River Confluence Protection Area).
On the Snake River from the mouth to the Oregon State line (approximately seven miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River).
Dates: Sept.1 through Oct. 31, 2016
Species affected: Chinook salmon
Reason for action: The 2016 Columbia River forecasted return of upriver bright adults is 593,800, with a significant portion of these fish expected to return to the Snake River. Popular steelhead fisheries also occur in the area and some hatchery fall chinook are expected to be caught during steelhead fishing. Retention of hatchery fall chinook is not expected to increase impacts to ESA-listed wild fall chinook. Therefore, adipose-fin-clipped hatchery fall chinook that are caught can be retained in the Snake River.
Other Information: The salmon daily limit in the Washington portion of the Snake River is six (6) adipose fin-clipped fall chinook adults (24 inches in length and larger), and six (6) adipose fin-clipped jack fall chinook (less than 24 inches). The minimum size for chinook that can be retained in the Snake River is 12 inches.
Harvest of hatchery chinook (adults and jacks) is allowed seven days per week. Anglers must cease fishing for salmon and steelhead for the day once they have retained 3 hatchery steelhead – regardless of whether the salmon daily limit has been retained. Adipose fin-clipped fish must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All chinook and steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed. In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River and the Snake River Confluence Protection Area. 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.