Snake River Spring Chinook Fishery Change

Snake River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Reopen spring Chinook salmon fishing on the Snake River at Little Goose for two more days.  Open Tuesday and Friday May 25 and 28, 2021.

Effective date:  May 25 and 28, 2021

Species affected:  Chinook salmon    

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).

Rule:  Min. size 12”. Daily Limit 4 hatchery (adipose clipped) Chinook of which up to one may be an adult, release all other salmon. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon when the adult limit has been retained.

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.

Reason for action: The 2021 return of upriver spring Chinook salmon was upgraded by the U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee to 87,000. This allows for additional harvest within the Snake River based on WDFW Commission Policy C-3630. The U.S. v. Oregon (2018-2027) Management Agreement provides Endangered Species Act coverage for this fishery.

Additional information:  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.

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

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