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

May 12, 2009

Additional section of Yakima River to open for spring chinook fishing

Action: Open the lower 13.5 miles of the Yakima River to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon.

Effective date: May 13, 2009 through June 15, 2009

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon

Location: Yakima River from the Interstate 182 bridge in Richland (river mile 4.5) to 400 feet downstream of Horn Rapids (Wanawish) Dam (river mile 18.0)

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:

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 Salmon Fishing Only: One, single (point), barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less is required. Use of bait is allowed.

Fishing for steelhead remains closed. All steelhead must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

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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