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

May 6, 2009

Yakima River spring chinook fishery to open

Action: Open the "Middle Reach" of the Yakima River to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon.

Effective date: May 16 through June 30, 2009.

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon; trout and other game fish.

Location: Yakima River from the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap upstream to the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge approximately 500 feet downstream of Roza Dam.

Reason for action: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Yakama Nation fishery managers are predicting a return of between 10,000 and 15,900 adult spring chinook to the Yakima River in 2009, of which 56% are predicted to be hatchery salmon originating from the Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project research hatchery at Cle Elum. The co-managers estimate that only 20% will be wild Naches River chinook, the weaker of the two non-hatchery stocks returning to the Yakima Basin, and not supplemented by hatchery production. Only 24% of the run is expected to be naturally produced upper Yakima River fish needed for Cle Elum Hatchery broodstock and natural spawning above Roza Dam. The more abundant hatchery component is available for harvest, while all wild or natural origin chinook need to be protected.

Other information:

For the duration of this salmon fishery, the upper "closed water" boundary line is moved upstream to the railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook. Retention of trout (size 12" to 20", daily limit two) and other game fish is prohibited until the new, statewide river season opener on Saturday, June 6.

Daily limit of two (2) 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 salmon (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

Special Gear Restriction for all species - Only one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less is permitted. Use of bait is allowed. The new "Selective Gear Rules" requirement (prohibiting use of bait) is temporarily suspended during the salmon fishery for all species.

Night closure in effect for all species.

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.

Closed to fishing for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Ave./Terrace Heights Rd. bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons, Inc.

Information contact: Jim Cummins, Fish Biologist, (509) 457-9316 (Yakima), 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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