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Ecology and salmon related articles

Two Snake River Spring Chinook
Fishing Zones Close Friday

by Rich Landers
Spokesman-Review, May 17, 2012

SALMON FISHING -- Snake River spring chinook fishing will close one hour after sunset Friday (May 18) below Ice Harbor Dam and near Little Goose Dam.

The closure does not affect spring chinook fisheries in the six miles below Lower Granite Dam, or in the Clarkston area. Both will remain open until further notice, according to an announcement just released by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers.

"Because wild salmon in the run are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, these fisheries must be managed within the ESA guidelines," said John Whalen, WDFW's eastern region fish program manager. "Based on the most recent chinook run estimate, the catch rates we are seeing, and the projected harvest, the allowable salmon catch for the Snake River will be reached sooner than we estimated."

Read on for the details about the season closures:

The specific Snake River closure areas are:

Two other Snake River spring chinook fishing locations will remain open until further notice. Angler catch rates will be monitored closely in those zones, and fishing may be closed before May 31, based upon conservation needs, Whalen said.

Snake River areas that will remain open for fishing include:

In open areas, anglers have a daily limit of six hatchery chinook (with a clipped adipose fin) at least 12 inches in length, including no more than two adult fish. Anglers must stop fishing for the day when the hatchery adult limit has been retained. All chinook with the adipose fin intact, and all steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed.

The exception is in the Little Goose Dam area, between the juvenile-fish bypass return pipe and the dam along the south shoreline (including the walkway area known as "the Wall" in front of the juvenile fish collection facility). In that area, only one jack and one adult hatchery chinook may be retained. Anglers must stop fishing once the one allowed adult fish is retained.

Rich Landers
Two Snake River Spring Chinook Fishing Zones Close Friday
Spokesman-Review, May 17, 2012

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