Spring Chinook Fishing
by Rich Landers
FISHING -- Two sections of the Snake River (below Ice Harbor Dam and Lower Granite Dam) reopened to fishing for spring chinook on Sunday, June 1, while two other sections of the river (below Little Goose Dam and near Clarkston) will reopen Thursday, June 5.
The sections of the river below Ice Harbor Dam and Lower Granite Dam are open Sunday through Tuesday each week. The river below Little Goose Dam and in the Clarkston area will be open Thursday through Saturday each week.
All four sections will be open on their weekly schedule until further notice.
Glen Mendel, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said fishery managers were able to reopen the fishery after transferring a portion of the upriver spring chinook allocation to the Snake River from the ongoing fishery in the lower Columbia River.
"With more than 600 fish now available for the Snake River fishery, we may be able to sustain fishing for the next several weeks," said Mendel.
Monitor changes posted on the agency's emergency fishing rules webpage.
Read on for details:
The daily catch limit for hatchery adult chinook has also been increased from the previous openings, Mendel said. Anglers will have a daily catch limit of two hatchery adult chinook -- marked with a clipped adipose fin -- and four hatchery jacks measuring less than 24 inches.
Barbless hooks are required in all areas, and anglers must stop fishing for the day when they reach their daily limit of two hatchery adult chinook salmon. All chinook with an adipose fin, and all steelhead, must immediately be released unharmed.
The sections of the Snake River scheduled to open June 1 are:
- Below Ice Harbor: Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam.
- Below Lower Granite Dam: Snake River from the Ilia Boat Launch on the south across to the mouth of Almota Creek upstream about four miles to the restricted fishing area below Lower Granite Dam.
The sections of the Snake River scheduled to open June 5 are:
Below Little Goose: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (on the south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility. This area includes the walkway area locally known as "the Wall" in front of the juvenile collection facility. Clarkston: Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line. (The state line extends from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).
"Our federal permit to conduct this fishery requires us to closely monitor the catch," Mendel said. "Our ability to do that is largely due to funds from the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement."
All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries.
The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.
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