THE FOLLOWING FISHING REPORTS WERE FORWARDED BY PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW
Effort and harvest declined this past week. Very unusual for this fishery that is normally peaking at this time. Boats averaged slightly less than a salmon per boat, 18 hours per fish. Bank anglers at Ringold also averaged 18 hours per salmon. This will be the final weekend to fish the Hanford Reach upstream of the old Hanford townsite. The fishery is scheduled to close on October 16 (open through October 15). The lower section will remain open through October 31.
WDFW staff interviewed anglers from 878 boats (2,277 anglers) and 134 bank anglers (Ringold Springs access) with a combined harvest of 745 adult chinook, 64 jacks, and 9 coho. Based on the sampling information, an estimated 2,235 adult chinook, 187 chinook jacks, and 27 coho were harvested from 7,142 angler trips. For the season, there have been 29,653 angler trips harvesting 10,262 adult chinook, 1,163 chinook jacks, and 93 coho. In addition, 188 sockeye, 65 wild steelhead, and 6 hatchery have been caught and released during the fishery.
Roughly 2,000 adult fall chinook per day continue to pass through Bonneville and McNary. The third in-season return for the Hanford Reach fall chinook population was completed last week. Current estimate is 70,920 natural (wild) fall chinook to return to the Hanford Reach, up 9% from the pre-season forecast of 65,359 adults. At ~71,000 adults, there will be sufficient numbers of fall chinook allocated to the sport fishery to continue the fishery with a two adult limit through the end of the scheduled season.
The lower Hanford Reach, Interstate 182 at Richland upstream to the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing, is open for Ringold Springs Hatchery (RSH) steelhead. Anglers are limited to one RSH steelhead daily. Ringold Springs steelhead are adipose clipped and right ventral fin clipped. All other hatchery and wild steelhead must be immediately released. No steelhead were harvested this past week in the Hanford Reach.
The Yakima River is currently open for salmon through October 18.
The Yakima River opened to fishing for fall salmon on October 1. The fishery is open from the Hwy. 240 bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0) approximately 1,000 feet downstream of Prosser Dam.
Rules: Minimum size 12”. Daily limit of two adults. No limit on jacks. Release all salmon other than Chinook and coho. Hatchery and wild salmon can be harvested. Anglers must cease fishing for salmon once they have retained their adult daily limit. Night closure in effect. Barbless hooks required.
Fishing remains closed from 200′ downstream of the USBR Chandler Powerhouse/Spillway to 200′ upstream of the USBR Chandler Powerhouse.
The fishery is expected to remain open through October 18. Fishery managers will continue to monitor the return and announce any additional changes to the fishery if necessary. Before heading out, anglers are encouraged to visit https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ to check for any in-season rule changes.
WDFW staff interviewed 48 anglers with 3 adult chinook and 2 jack chinook between October 1 – 4. Based on the interviews an estimated 28 adult chinook and 15 chinook jacks were harvested the first four days of the fishery.