Snake River Spring Chinook Fishery Change

Snake River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Open spring Chinook salmon fishing on the Snake River. Open Tuesdays and Fridays only beginning May 4, 2021.

Effective date: May 4, 2021 until further notice.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Rule: Salmon: Min. size 12”. Daily limit four hatchery (adipose clipped) Chinook of which only one may be an adult. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon when the adult limit has been retained. Barbless hooks required. Night closure in effect.

Location: Below Little Goose Dam: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (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 (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility).

Reason for action: The 2021 Columbia River forecasted return of upriver spring Chinook salmon is sufficiently abundant to allow for harvest opportunity on the Snake River based on WDFW Commission Policy C-3620. The U.S. v. Oregon (2018-2027) Management Agreement provides Endangered Species Act coverage for this fishery.

Additional information: The minimum size of any retained Chinook salmon is 12 inches. Jacks are less than 24 inches long. The adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon that can be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All Chinook salmon with the adipose fin intact, and all bull trout and steelhead must be immediately released unharmed.

Anglers fishing for Chinook salmon must use barbless hooks. A night closure is in effect while fishing for salmon. Anglers cannot remove any Chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily limit.

WDFW will monitor this fishery and the returns of spring Chinook throughout the season and may close the fishery at any time due to harvest levels, ESA impacts, in-season run adjustments, or a combination of these things. Please continue to check emergency rules if you are planning to fish for spring Chinook in the Snake River. Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2020/2021 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc.

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.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email ([email protected]). For more information, see

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