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

May 12, 2011

Snake River spring chinook fishery to close early

Action: Spring chinook fishing on the Snake River will close after Friday, May 13 below Ice Harbor Dam and after Sunday, May 15 in the Little Goose and Clarkston areas.

Species affected: Spring chinook

Effective Closure Date: May 14, 2011 until further notice

Location:

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

Effective Date: Open through May 15, 2011

Locations:

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.

Daily Limit: Only 2 adipose clipped spring chinook adults and 4 adipose clipped jacks can be retained in these fisheries. EXCEPTION: The shoreline 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 is one jack and one adult. For all areas open for chinook, fishing for chinook must cease as soon as the adult chinook daily limit is retained.

Reason for action: Based on current chinook run estimate and projected harvest numbers and catch rates being observed, the allowable catch of salmon for the Snake River in Washington will be reached sooner than initially identified. Because the wild portion of the run is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), fisheries must be managed to remain within the guidelines of the ESA.

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; barbless hooks only when fishing for all species, and only single barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon.

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 new 2011/2012 sport fishing rules pamphlet (in effect May 1, 2011) for other regulations, including safety closures, etc.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet