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

September 2, 2021

Snake River to Steelhead Fishing Rule Changes

Action: Regulatory reach 1 (below) will closed to fishing for and retention of steelhead. Regulatory reach 2 (below) will reduce the daily limit on steelhead to one hatchery fish.

Effective date: September 3, 2021, until further notice

Species affected: Steelhead


Regulatory reach 1 - From the mouth of the Snake River (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Lower Granite dam (Catch Record Card areas 640, 642, 644 and 646).

Closed to fishing for and retention of Steelhead.

Regulatory Reach 2 - From Lower Granite Dam upstream to the Idaho/Oregon state line (Catch Record Card areas 648 and 650)

Daily limit 1 hatchery fish. Anglers may not continue to fish for steelhead after the steelhead daily limit has been retained.

Reason for action: The 2021 Columbia River forecasted return for upriver steelhead was 89,200. These measures are consistent with the discussions and actions taken from North of Falcon pre-season season setting process due to a low forecast. Steelhead passage at Bonneville dam of steelhead from July 1 through August 29 is 33,906 and is the lowest count on record. WDFW has coordinated with comanagers, and while the overall return is low, current estimates of natural and hatchery origin fish returning to the Upper Snake River are sufficient to allow for limited recreational fisheries to continue with reduced daily limits.

Additional information: In Regulatory Reach 2, all steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for steelhead. All Washington licensed anglers must cease fishing for the day once they have retained their daily limit. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch and know regulations for other salmonid species that are in the areas. Anglers cannot remove any Chinook, coho or steelhead from the water if it is not to be retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2018/2019 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.

Please continue to check emergency rules if you are planning to fish for steelhead within the affected area.

Information contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 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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