Snake River steelhead fishery change

Snake River

Photo Credit: Courtesy of WDFW

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Opens steelhead fishing on the Snake River.

Effective date: Sept. 1, 2020, until further notice.

Species affected: Steelhead.      

Locations and daily limits:  

  • Regulatory Reach 1: From the mouth of the Snake River (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to Lower Granite Dam. 
    • Daily limit 1 hatchery fish.
  • Regulatory Reach 2: From Lower Granite Dam upstream to the Idaho-Oregon state line. 
    • Daily limit 2 hatchery fish.

Reason for action:  The 2020 Columbia River preseason forecasted return of upriver steelhead was 95,500 (85,900 Group A and 9,600 Group B). Based on in-season tracking, Snake River stocks appear to be returning at or slightly above the forecast.  However, WDFW has concerns with tributary stocks, particularly the Tucannon and Touchet River stocks, necessitating lower limits in the mainstem Snake River downstream of Lower Granite Dam.  

WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run. If additional conservation measures need to be taken to curtail the harvest fishery, or additional harvest opportunity can be offered without negatively impacting wild or hatchery steelhead abundances, seasons and harvest rules may be adjusted in coming months.

Additional information:  All steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed. In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for steelhead and must stop fishing for steelhead once the daily limit has been retained.  Anglers should be sure to identify their catch and know regulations for other salmonid species that are in these areas. Anglers cannot remove any Chinook, coho or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.  

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.  

Please continue to check emergency rules if you are planning to fish for steelhead within the affected area.

Information contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist, 509-382-1005.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

More Reports

WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Reports
for Monday, August 31st, 2020

Snake River: Fall Chinook harvest to be allowed in additional section of the Snake River
Grande Ronde River: Grande Ronde River steelhead fishery change
Tucannon River: Tucannon River steelhead fishery change