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

May 31, 2018

Changes to daily limit for hatchery chinook in sections of the Snake River

Action: Effective immediately, anglers fishing two sections of the Snake River can keep two adult spring chinook as part of their daily limit of six hatchery chinook. Anglers previously were allowed to retain only one adult fish as part of their limit of six hatchery chinook.

Species affected: Spring chinook.

Dates: Effective immediately, until further notice. Locations: A) Below Ice Harbor Dam: Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about seven miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam. Open Friday and Saturday each week.

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). Open Sunday and Monday each week.

Daily Limits: In sections A and B, anglers can keep 6 hatchery chinook (marked with a clipped adipose fin) of which no more than two may be adult chinook salmon. For all areas open for chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing for salmon when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Reason for action: Snake River anglers have harvested approximately 37 percent of the allotted share and had minimal impacts to wild spring chinook (less than 20 percent of allowable impacts). Fishery managers are increasing the daily limit for adult chinook retention in the lower areas to access the remaining balance of the harvest share. All of the fishery areas in the Washington portion of the Snake River are mixed stock fisheries; however, there is increased potential to disproportionally harvest Clearwater River stocks in Section C (just below the mouth of the Clearwater River). Because of that disproportionate harvest risk, fishery managers plan to leave the limit in this section at one adult/day.

Other Information: Each area remains open two days per week until further notice. Anglers may retain chinook that are 12 inches or larger. Adult chinook are 24 inches or larger. Anglers can retain only hatchery chinook, marked with a clipped adipose fin (chinook must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin). Any chinook salmon with an intact adipose fin, as well as all bull trout and steelhead must be immediately released unharmed.

The daily limit and regulations for Area C of the Snake River remain unchanged and are as follows:

Area C) 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 Washington-Idaho boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore). Open Sunday and Monday each week. Daily limit: 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 for salmon when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

In addition: Anglers fishing for chinook salmon must use barbless hooks. A night closure is in effect while fishing for salmon. Anglers cannot remove any chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is to be retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2017/2018 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, closed waters, etc.

Information contact: Jeremy Trump, District Fish Biologist, 509-382-1005.

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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