Two Sections of Snake River Now Open for Spring Chinook,
by Mark Yuasa
Longview officials say they're continuing effort to build facility to receive crude from North Dakota
Spring chinook fishing has now expanded with two areas of the Snake River currently open, and two other locations set to open Thursday (April 23).
Early spring chinook are just starting to poke their noses this far upstream, and anglers should monitor the Columbia River dam counts at www.fpc.org/currentdaily/HistFishTwo_7day-ytd_Adults.htm to gauge when is the best time to head east. So far, 263 chinook were counted at Ice Harbor Dam and the first significant count of fish was April 12 when the single-day count was 128 fish.
Waters below Ice Harbor Dam and below Lower Granite Dam are open Sunday through Tuesday of each week, and the Little Goose Dam and Clarkston areas will be open Thursday through Saturday of each week. Fishing will remain open until further notice and are expected to stay open from four to six weeks.
Areas currently open below Ice Harbor are the Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam; and below Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River from the south shore boat launch (Ilia Boat Launch) across to the mouth of Almota Creek upstream about four miles to the restricted fishing area below Lower Granite Dam.
The sections opening Thursday are below Little Goose on the Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream from the mouth of the 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 (includes the walkway area locally known as "the Wall" in front of the juvenile collection facility).
Also in the Clarkston area of the 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 (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the Washington/Idaho boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).
The Columbia River upriver-bound adult spring chinook run is 232,500 of which 140,800 (125,000 was last year's forecast) are of Snake River origin -- 95,500 (82,800) of those are hatchery fish that anglers are allowed to keep.
The daily limit is six hatchery chinook and only one may be an adult fish. Jack spring chinook are less than 24 inches long, and any chinook salmon measuring less than 12 inches must be released. The possession limit will be increased to allow three daily limits of spring chinook in fresh form.
Barbless hooks are mandatory, and anglers must stop fishing each day when they've retained their daily limit of adult hatchery chinook. All chinook with an adipose fin, and all steelhead, must be released.
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