Snake River spring Chinook fishery opens

Snake River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Opens spring Chinook salmon fishing on the Snake River as described below.

Species affected:  Chinook salmon.     

Effective dates:

Location A: Open Tuesdays and Fridays only, beginning May 2, 2023 until further notice.

Location B: Open Wednesdays and Thursdays only, beginning May 3, 2023 until further notice.


A)  Below Little Goose Dam: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (located on the south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam.  This zone includes both shores and 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).

B)  Below Ice Harbor Dam: Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam.

  • Min. size 12". Daily Limit 4 hatchery (adipose-clipped) Chinook including no more than one 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.

Reason for action: The 2023 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-3630. The U.S. v. Oregon (2018-2027) Management Agreement provides Endangered Species Act coverage for this fishery.

Additional information: Current allocation based on the preseason forecast and prior to a run update is 669 fish for recreational fisheries in the Snake River (harvest plus release mortalities).

Adult Chinook are 24 inches or longer. Adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon that may be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All Chinook salmon with an intact adipose fin, all bull trout, and steelhead must be immediately released unharmed.

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 any combination thereof. 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 2022-2023 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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