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

May 12, 2010

Upper Yakima River spring chinook fishing rules clarification

Action: Clarify gear rules and use of boats equipped with an internal combustion engine in Area 2

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon

Locations & Dates:

Area 1: from the Interstate 182 bridge in Richland (river mile 4.5) to 400 feet downstream of Horn Rapids (Wanawish) Dam (river mile 18.0); May 1 - May 31.

Area 2: from the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap (river mile 107.1) to the BNRR bridge approximately 500 feet downstream of Roza Dam (river mile 127.8); May 1 - June 30.

Reason for action: The previous "Fishing Rule Change" news release announcing the opening of the spring chinook fishery (4-22-10) omitted information regarding the temporary suspension of the "Selective Gear Rules" in Area 2. For the duration of the salmon fishery in Area 2, the use of bait and knotted landing nets is permitted. In addition, the use of boats equipped with an internal combustion engine is also permitted.

Other information:

For the duration of this salmon fishery, the upper "closed water" boundary line for Area 2 is moved upstream to the railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest abundant hatchery chinook.

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 Rules for Area 1: Terminal gear is restricted to one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less when fishing for salmon. Use of bait is allowed.

Special Rules for Area 2: Terminal gear is restricted to one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less. During the salmon fishery, the "Selective Gear Rules" prohibiting use of bait and knotted nets is temporarily suspended, but only in the river section open to salmon fishing. Use of boats equipped with an internal combustion engine is allowed, but only in the river section open to salmon fishing. Night closure in effect. Retention of trout (size 12" to 20", daily limit 2) and other game fish is prohibited until the statewide river trout season opener on Saturday, June 5.

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.

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.

The new Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement is required to participate in this fishery.

Information contacts: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco); Eric Anderson, District 8 Fish Biologist, (509) 457-9301 (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 info