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Ecology and salmon related articles

Snake River Spring Chinook
Season Openers Friday, Sunday

by Rich Landers
Spokesman-Review, April 25, 2013

FISHING -- A section of the Snake River below Ice Harbor Dam near Pasco will open to fishing for spring chinook salmon on Friday (April 26), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has just announced.

Two other sections of the Snake near Little Goose Dam and Clarkston will open Sunday (April 28).

Each section of the river is scheduled to be open two days a week.

All three sections are open until further notice, but the fishery is not expected to remain open for more than a few weeks, said Glen Mendel, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Mendel encourages anglers to review the fishing rule change, posted on WDFW's website.

Read on for more details from WDFW.

The fishery will close when the Snake River harvest allocation is met or allowable impacts on wild stocks reach federal limits, he said.

"With a lower run-size forecast this year for Columbia River spring chinook, we will likely approach those limits sooner rather than later," said Mendel.

A total of 58,200 spring chinook salmon are expected to return to the Snake River Basin this year, including 39,300 hatchery fish. Last year's forecast anticipated a return of 168,000 spring chinook, with 129,000 hatchery fish.

The daily catch limit for most of the open areas is one hatchery adult chinook - marked with a clipped adipose fin - and four hatchery jacks measuring less than 24 inches.

The exception is the area along the south shoreline of the Little Goose Dam (including "the wall") upstream to the juvenile-bypass return pipe, where anglers may retain only one adult hatchery chinook salmon and one hatchery jack per day.

In all areas, anglers are required to use barbless hooks, and must stop fishing for the day when they reach their daily limit of adult chinook salmon. All chinook with an adipose fin, and all steelhead, must immediately be released unharmed.

"Our ability to closely monitor this fishery, as required by federal permit, is due in large part to funds from the Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement," said Mendel. "Without the monitoring, we wouldn't be able to open this fishery."

The endorsement, required of all anglers fishing for salmon or steelhead in the Columbia River system (which includes the Snake River), costs $8.75; seniors and youth pay $7.10.

The section of the Snake River scheduled to open April 26 is:

The sections of the Snake River scheduled to open April 28 are: General fishing regulations for the Snake River effective through April 30 are available in the Fishing in Washington rule pamphlet which is now available online.

The new sport fishing rules pamphlet for 2013-14 also is available on that webpage.

Related Pages:
Idaho Postpones Spring Chinook Season Setting by Rich Landers, Spokesman-Review, April 22, 2013

Rich Landers
Snake River Spring Chinook Season Openers Friday, Sunday
Spokesman-Review, April 25, 2013

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