Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 13, 2011

Snake River spring chinook fishery to open

Action: Sections of the Snake River open for spring/summer chinook fishing.

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Locations: Three areas are open for spring chinook fisheries, as described below:

A) Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge (near Pasco) upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary approximately 400 ft below Ice Harbor Dam;

B) Railroad Bridge approximately 1/2 mile downstream of Tucannon River mouth, up-river about 9 miles to the Corps of Engineers boat launch approximately 1 mile upstream of Little Goose Dam (along the south shore). This zone includes the 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) From the intersection of Steptoe Canyon Road with the Hwy 193 (Snake River Road) in Whitman County up-river about 12 miles to the Idaho state line that runs from the north termination of the rock levee on the east side of the Greenbelt boat launch (near the US Army Corps of Engineers Office) northwest across the Snake River to the Idaho/Washington marker on the north shore in Whitman County.

Dates: April 20, 2011 through May 31, 2011 below Ice Harbor Dam (Area A); April 25, 2011 through May 31, 2011 for areas B and C.

Daily Limits: Only 2 adipose clipped spring chinook adults and 4 adipose clipped jacks can be retained in these fisheries. EXCEPTION: the 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 daily bag limit for this limited area will allow retention of one jack and one adult, but an angler must cease fishing when the 1 allowed adult is retained.

Reason for action: The predicted 198,400 upriver spring chinook return allows for fishing opportunities in the Snake River within Washington. Expectations are for approximately 66,000 hatchery chinook to return to the Snake River.

Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook is 12 inches. Jacks are less than 24 inches long. The adipose fin-clipped fish must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All chinook with the adipose fin intact, and all steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed.

In addition, anglers fishing for all species in these areas of the Snake River during the salmon fishery must use barbless hooks only. Night closure in effect for salmon and sturgeon, and it shall 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 or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2010/2011 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet (in effect through April 30, 2011), and the new 2011/2012 sport fishing rules pamphlet (in effect May 1, 2011) for other regulations, including safety closures, etc. Angler catch rates will be monitored closely and Snake River salmon fisheries may be closed prior to May 31 based upon conservation needs.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500