Yakima River to open for hatchery spring Chinook salmon

Yakima River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Open two areas of the Yakima River to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook salmon.


Area A: Highway 240 Bridge in Richland (RM 2.1) upstream to the State Route 241 (Sunnyside-Mabton) Bridge (RM 59.8).

Area B: Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap (RM 107.1) to the BNSF Railroad Bridge approximately 600 feet downstream of Roza Dam (RM 127.8).

Effective dates:

Area A: Open May 5 through June 15, 2023.

Area B: Open May 16 through June 30, 2023.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.


  • Daily limit 2 hatchery Chinook salmon. Minimum size 12". Release all salmon other than Chinook salmon.
  • Terminal Gear: Up to two (2), single-point, barbless hooks with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less.
  • Use of bait is allowed for salmon.
  • Anglers can use two poles when fishing for salmon with the Two-Pole Endorsement.
  • Night closure in effect for salmon.

Additional rules for Area A:

Closed waters to fishing for all species:

  • From 400' downstream to Horn Rapids (Wanawish) Dam.
  • From 200' downstream of the USBR Chandler Powerhouse to 200' upstream of the USBR Chandler Powerhouse.
  • In Prosser, from the Grant Avenue Bridge (RM 47.0) upstream to the Wine Country Road Bridge (RM 47.3).

Additional rules for Area B:

  • Use of bait and knotted nets is permitted when fishing for salmon.
  • Fishing for all game fish, such as trout, whitefish, etc., remains closed until Saturday, May 27.
  • Fishing from boats equipped with an internal combustion motor (ICM) is allowed only from the I-82 Bridge at Union Gap to the eastbound (upstream) I-82 Bridge at Selah Gap. Boats with an ICM may be used for transportation only upstream of the Selah Gap Bridge.
  • Closed to fishing for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Avenue/Terrace Heights Road Bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons Inc.

Reason for action: A total of 5,550 adult spring Chinook salmon are forecasted to return to the Yakima River, including 1,990 hatchery origin adults from the Cle Elum Hatchery. The return as forecasted is sufficient to allow a sport fishery in the Yakima River below the Roza Diversion.

Additional information: Hatchery salmon are identified by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Wild salmon (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

Please be aware, the Harrison Road access owned by WSDOT is closed.

The spring Chinook salmon adult return to the Yakima River will be assessed in-season and may be closed with limited notice. Check the WDFW website for emergency regulation updates.

Information contact: Marc Divens, District 8 Fish Biologist, 509-457-9301 (Yakima) or Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, 509-545-2284 (Pasco).

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