Snake River spring Chinook fishery change

Snake River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

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

Effective dates:

Location A (Below Little Goose Dam): Open Tuesday, May 23 and Friday, May 26, 2023.

Location B (Below Ice Harbor Dam): Open Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25, 2023.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.


  1. 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).
  2. 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: Increased fish passage at Bonneville Dam has given certainty to managers that there are greater numbers of hatchery spring Chinook available to harvest and allow for four days of fishing on the Snake River. WDFW Commission Policy C-3630 provides structure for Snake River Spring Chinook Fishery and the U.S. v. Oregon (2018-2027) Management Agreement provides Endangered Species Act coverage for this fishery.

Additional information: 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 the adipose fin intact, 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 2022-23 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

More Reports

Marine Area 10 salmon fishing season opens June 1

Action: Open salmon fishing season. Effective date: June 1 through July 12, 2023. Species affected: Salmon. Location: Marine Area 10, except waters of Elliot Bay and...... Read More

New legislation creates 1,000-yard mandatory vessel buffer around endangered Southern Resident killer whales effective January 2025

WDFW soliciting interest for new volunteer advisory group to inform vessel regulations outreach and education strategies OLYMPIA – Governor Inslee...... Read More