Adult salmon daily limit reduced in the lower Klickitat River; salmon season delayed in the upper river

Klickitat River - WA

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Reduces the adult salmon daily limit to 1 hatchery fish in the lower Klickitat River. Closes salmon season in the upper Klickitat River until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location, effective date(s), and rule(s):

  1. From the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) to Fisher Hill Bridge:
    1. Effective April 1 through May 26, 2023, the salmon and hatchery steelhead daily limit is 2, of which only 1 may be an adult salmon. Release wild Chinook. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only.
    2. Effective May 27, 2023 until further notice, the daily salmon limit is 6; up to 1 adult may be retained.  Release wild Chinook.
  1. From 400 feet upstream of #5 fishway to boundary markers below Klickitat Salmon Hatchery:
    1. Effective May 27, 2023 until further notice, Salmon: Closed.

Reason for action: The estimated return (1,400) of adult spring Chinook to the Klickitat River for 2023 could be the third-lowest since 2009. The Klickitat River saw a very low adult spring Chinook return in 2019, contributing to hatchery releases for this brood year falling well below the program goal. The reduced contribution of this release to the 2023 return is a likely contributor to the lower forecast.  Additionally, PIT tagging operations for some hatchery release groups were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which will diminish managers' ability to monitor the return in-season. Sport fishery managers need to utilize a conservative approach to help ensure that hatchery broodstock collection is achieved. These actions provide continued opportunity to harvest Spring Chinook in the lower river and help ensure future hatchery returns. 

Additional information:  WDFW will continue to monitor the spring Chinook return and hatchery broodstock collection with co-managers to determine if additional fishery modification is needed. Anglers are reminded to check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional information related to the Klickitat River.

Information contact:  Matt Gardner, District Fish Biologist, 360-906-6746. 

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