Adult salmon daily limit reduced in the lower Klickitat River; salmon seasons shortened to support broodstock collection

Klickitat River - WA

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Reduces the adult salmon portion of the daily limit to one (1); closes salmon season beginning on May 23, 2024. Delays opening of salmon season in the upper Klickitat River until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon

Location, effective dates, and rules:

  • From the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) to Fisher Hill Bridge:
  1. Effective April 1 through May 22, 2024: Salmon and hatchery steelhead: Open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only. Daily limit two (2), including no more than one (1) adult salmon. Release wild Chinook. Release wild steelhead.
  2. Effective May 23, 2024, until further notice: Salmon: Closed.
  • From 400 feet upstream of the #5 fishway to boundary markers below Klickitat Salmon Hatchery:
  1. Effective May 25, 2024, until further notice: Salmon: Closed.

Reason for action: The estimated return of adult spring Chinook (1,254) to the Klickitat River for 2024 is among the lowest since 2009. Hatchery spring Chinook releases in 2022 were well below program goals. These fish will return as four year-olds in 2024, which represent the largest age group of spring Chinook runs. The reduced contribution of this release to the 2024 return is a likely contributor to the relatively low forecast.  Additionally, PIT tagging operations for the 2022 release group were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which will diminish managers’ ability to monitor the return in-season. A conservative management approach will help ensure that hatchery broodstock collection is achieved and provide some initial opportunity to harvest Spring Chinook in the lower river.

Additional information: WDFW will 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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