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

August 20, 2007

Yakima River Chandler Power Plant area closure

Action: Close the Yakima River to all fishing within 400 feet of the Chandler Power Plant.

Effective date: Sept. 1 through Oct. 22, 2007

Species affected: All Fish Species

Location: Within 400 feet of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation?s Chandler Power Plant water outflow (near Benton City, WA). Closed waters extend from the power line crossing the river upstream of the powerhouse downstream to the markers on both banks 200 feet below the spillway chute outfall.

Reason for action: Low numbers of fall chinook are expected to return to the Yakima River in 2007. Fall chinook are attracted to the discharge at the Chandler Powerhouse, allowing anglers to harvest a higher proportion of the return than allocated for the fishery. In addition, this is a known location for illegal snagging despite a non-buoyant lure restriction/night closure by permanent rule during the lower Yakima R. fall salmon season.

Other information: The anticipated fall chinook return to the Yakima River this year is less than 2,500 fish. Harvest at the Chandler Powerhouse accounted for over 60% of the chinook harvested in 2006, although the effected powerhouse area is less than 0.2% of the total area open to angling downstream of Prosser Dam. An identical emergency closure was enacted from October 7-22, 2006 to belatedly reduce harvest and illegal snagging. WDFW staff has proposed a permanent closure of this 400-foot area during the fall salmon fishery as part of the 2007 "major cycle" fishing rule adoption process.

Information contact: 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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