Washington Opens Fall Chinook Seasonby Staff
Lewiston Tribune, September 10, 2010
Washington has opened the Snake River between the Tri-Cities and the Oregon state line to hatchery fall chinook fishing.
The fishery is divided into two zones. Zone A runs from the bridge on U.S. Highway 12 over the Snake River at the Tri-Cities to Lower Granite Dam. Anglers fishing Zone A can keep up to two hatchery fall chinook jacks per day. Jacks are any fall chinook less than 24 inches long. They cannot keep adult chinook.
Zone B runs from Lower Granite Dam to the Oregon state line, about 8 miles south of Heller Bar. The limit for this zone is up two hatchery fall chinook per day but only one of the two can be an adult -- chinook 24 inches long or longer. Anglers must stop fishing for the day after harvesting an adult chinook.
The season will run until Oct. 31.
Just like Idaho's fall chinook fishing season, the Washington season is designed to allow anglers who hook fall chinook while fishing for steelhead to keep the fish as long as they are of hatchery origin. Rumors have been circulating that the state was going to open the fishery and some anglers have been eager for the final approval.
"Hooray, they have seen the light in Olympia," said Stu Waters, of the Waters Edge tackle shop in Clarkston. "Salmon are here and we can catch them."
Waters said steelhead anglers have been catching fall chinook on occasion. But an official creel survey conducted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game showed harvest has been slow. Fisheries technicians for the department recorded only one fall chinook harvested between Sept. 1 and Sunday.
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