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

May 17, 2012

Lower two zones of the Snake River spring chinook fisheries to close early

Action / Species affected: Spring chinook fishing on the Snake River will close at the end of the legal fishing period (dusk) on Friday, May 18, below Ice Harbor Dam and near Little Goose Dam. This action does NOT affect the spring chinook fisheries in the 6 miles below Lower Granite Dam, or in the Clarkston area.

Locations: A) Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge at Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam;

B) Snake River from the railroad bridge approximately 1/2 mile downstream of Tucannon River mouth, up-river to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam, and from Little Goose Dam to the Corps of Engineers boat launch approximately 1 mile upstream of Little Goose Dam (along the south shoreline). 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);

Effective Closure Date for locations A and B: one hour after official sunset on Friday, May 18, 2012, until further notice.

Locations: C and D (described below) will remain open, until further notice. Angler catch rates will be monitored closely and Snake River salmon fisheries may be closed in Locations C and D prior to May 31 based upon conservation needs. Watch for emergency regulations announcing closure dates for spring chinook fisheries in zones C and D.

C) Snake River from Casey Creek Canyon Road on the Garfield County shore (approximately 6 miles downstream of Lower Granite Dam) to the fishing restriction boundary downstream of Lower Granite Dam.

D) Snake River from the intersection of Steptoe Canyon Road with the Wawawai River Road on the Whitman County shore up-river approximately 12 miles to the Idaho state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA / ID boundary marker on the Whitman County shore).

Daily Limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than two may be adult chinook. 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 hatchery chinook. An angler must cease fishing when the 1 allowed adult is retained in this area. For all areas open for chinook, anglers must cease fishing when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Reason for action: Based on the most recent chinook run estimate, the catch rates being observed, and projected harvest, 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 identified areas of the Snake River during the salmon fishery; barbless hooks only when fishing for all species, and only single point 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 2012/2013 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc.

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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