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

October 13, 2009

Hanford Reach fishery to close early for salmon retention

Action: The Columbia River is closed to the retention of all salmon between the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco and Priest Rapids Dam.

Effective date: 12:01 a.m. Oct. 15, 2009

Species affected: Salmon

Reason for action: The in-season forecast for fall chinook escapement to the Hanford Reach has fallen below the natural spawning escapement goal of 28,800 adult chinook. The revised total return estimate (spawning escapement + harvest) is predicted to be 33,381 adults. Through October 11, the salmon fishery has harvested an estimated 6,340 adult fall chinook based on creel census data, leaving 27,000 adults to potentially spawn. If the fishery is allowed to continue as scheduled through October 22, less than 26,000 adult chinook will remain to spawn based on the predicted final return and current harvest rate. Closing the salmon retention fishery eight days early will result in approximately 1,000 additional adult fish surviving to spawn. The 2009 harvest is well above the anticipated level and has already surpassed the 2008 harvest by over 40 percent.

Other Information: All salmon must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release. Anglers will be allowed to continue to fish for and retain hatchery steelhead between the old Hanford town site wooden power line towers and Priest Rapids Dam through October 22. Angling for hatchery steelhead from McNary Dam to the old Hanford town site wooden powerline towers will remain open after October 22 under the regulations listed in the Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules (Page 76).

Wild steelhead (adipose fin intact) 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. F