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

April 25, 2013

Restricted Snake River spring chinook fisheries to open

Action / Species affected: Spring chinook fishing open on the Snake River.

Locations: Zone 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;

Zone B) Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river approximately 3.5 miles upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. 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);

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

Dates: Zone A: open two days per week (Friday and Saturday) beginning April 26 and 27 until further notice. Zone B and Zone C: open two days per week (Sunday and Monday) beginning April 28 and 29 until further notice. Because the run is predicted to be very small, these fisheries are not likely to remain open for more than 2-3 weeks.

Daily Limits: 5 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an 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 limit for this limited area will allow retention of one adult hatchery chinook and one hatchery jack per day. For all areas open for chinook harvest, anglers must cease fishing for chinook when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Reason for action: Based on the preseason prediction for a relatively small chinook salmon return, Snake River fisheries in each of three zones are available for two days per week. This enables managers to comply with Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions and limited harvest allocations available in 2013.

Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook is 12 inches. Chinook jacks are less than 24 inches long. Adipose fin-clipped fish that can be retained 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 must use barbless hooks, and only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. Night closure is 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 2013/2014 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc.

Information contact: John Whalen, Region 1 Fish Program Manager, (509) 892-7861.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDF