Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

August 25, 2011

Hatchery fall chinook retention to be allowed in the Snake River

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

Locations: Upstream from the mouth of the Snake River, beginning at the south bound lanes of the Highway 12 Bridge (near Pasco) to the Oregon State line (located approximately 7 miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River).

Dates: Sept. 1 through Oct.31, 2011

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Reason for action: There is a large run of upriver bright hatchery fall chinook expected to return to the Snake River. Significant 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 clipped hatchery fall chinook that are caught can be retained in the Snake River. This regulation is generally consistent with Idaho regulations allowing harvest of hatchery fall chinook in the Idaho boundary waters of the Snake River.

Other Information: The salmon daily harvest limit in the Washington portion of the Snake River is three (3) adipose fin-clipped fall chinook adults (24 inches in length and larger), and three (3) adipose fin-clipped jack fall chinook (less than 24 inches). 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).

The 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. 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 to refer to the 2011 / 2012 Fishing in Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.

Angler catch rates will be monitored and WA Snake River salmon harvest opportunities may be closed prior to October 31 based upon on-going run size and harvest evaluations.

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, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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