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

April 10, 2015

Snake River spring chinook fisheries to open

Action: Spring chinook salmon fishing opens on the Snake River.

Species affected: Spring chinook salmon.


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

B) Below Little Goose Dam: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the rock and concrete 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) Below Lower Granite Dam: Snake River from the south shore boat launch (Ilia Boat Launch) across to the mouth of Almota Creek upstream about four miles to the restricted fishing area below Lower Granite Dam.

D) Clarkston: Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 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: Each area is open three days per week until further notice.

Areas A and C (Below Ice Harbor Dam, and below Lower Granite Dam) open Sunday, April 19, and will be open only Sunday through Tuesday each week.

Areas B and D (Below Little Goose Dam and near Clarkston) open Thursday, April 23, and will be open only Thursday through Saturday each week.

Daily Limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon. For all areas open for chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Possession Limits: During these fisheries possession limits for spring chinook salmon will be increased to allow three daily limits in fresh form.

Reason for action: 1) Based on the pre-season prediction for a relatively good return of spring chinook and angler input requesting an emphasis for a longer fishery season, Snake River fisheries in each of these zones are open for only three days per week (with one weekend day included each week) with a daily bag limit of one adult hatchery chinook. The restrictions on the fishery help prolong the duration of the season, ensure sharing of fishing opportunities with upriver fishery zones, and enables managers to ensure that the fisheries comply with Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions and harvest allocations available for the Snake River. 2) Possession Limits: Permanent possession limits (WAC 220-56-180(4)) allow two daily limits in fresh form, which allows for only 2 adult hatchery fish, given the 1 adult hatchery fish daily bag limit. In an effort to promote this fishery as a destination fishery, this rule will allow anglers to possess a reasonable amount of fish during their stay.

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

In addition: Anglers fishing for all species, in the areas open for chinook salmon, during the days of the week the salmon fishery is open in that area, must use barbless hooks. Only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon.

A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon. 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 salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2014/2015 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc.

Information contact: Jeremy Trump, 509-382-1005, Region 1 Fish Biologist

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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