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

April 14, 2016

Lower Yakima River to open for spring chinook fishing

Action: Open the lower Yakima River to fishing for spring chinook salmon

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Dates: April 29 through June 15, 2016

Location: From the Hwy. 240 bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0) approximately 1,000 feet downstream of Prosser Dam.

Reason for action: Yakama Nation (YN) and WDFW fishery managers are forecasting a total return of 4,610 adult spring chinook to the Yakima River in 2016 (3,100 wild and 1,510 hatchery fish), representing 55% of the recent 10-year (2006-2015) average adult return of 8,320 spring chinook. Consequently, the hatchery adult daily limit has been reduced from two to one fish this year.

Other information:

Daily limit of two (2) chinook, including one (1) adult hatchery chinook. Minimum size 12 inches. Hatchery salmon are identified by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Wild adult chinook (adipose fin intact; greater than 24 inches total length) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

Once the adult portion of the daily limit is retained, continuing to fish for salmon (i.e., hatchery or wild jacks) is prohibited.

Terminal gear is restricted to two, single-point, barbless hooks with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less when fishing for salmon. Use of bait is allowed.

For the duration of this salmon fishery, the Yakima River adjacent to the USBR Chandler Powerhouse/Pumping Station is closed to all fishing from the WDFW white markers 200" downstream of the spillway chute to the power line crossing immediately upstream of the powerhouse.

The use of two (2) fishing poles is permitted during the salmon fishery provided the participating angler has purchased a "Two-Pole Endorsement" (in addition to the freshwater fishing license and Columbia River salmon/steelhead endorsement).

Fishing for steelhead remains closed. All steelhead (rainbow trout greater than 20" in total length) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

A Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement is required to participate in this fishery.

Information contacts: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco) or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).

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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