Spring Chinook fishing closes on two sections of Snake River

Snake River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action/Species Affected: Spring chinook fishing on the Snake River will close in the lower two spring chinook fishery zones near Ice Harbor and Little Goose, but will remain open in the Clarkston area.

Effective Date: Immediately - fishery closure for zones A and B only.

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

B) Below Little Goose: Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the 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).

Effective Date(s): Zone C: Open May 19 and 20. Open two days per week (Sunday and Monday) until further notice.

C) Clarkston: Snake River from the intersection of Steptoe Canyon Road with the Wawawai River Road on the Whitman County shore upriver approximately 12 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).

Daily Limits: 5 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook. For areas open for chinook harvest, anglers must cease fishing for chinook when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Reason for Action: The upriver spring chinook run size (including the Snake River) was updated on March 13, 2013, to 107,500, compared to the preseason forecast of 141,400. This represents approximately 75% of the preseason prediction. Based on the updated run size, and the estimated harvest for the entire Snake River within Washington, the Snake River recreational fisheries have approached the harvest allocation. Each of the lower two sections are estimated to have harvested over 130 hatchery adult chinook, so the fisheries are now closed. The Clarkston area has had no harvest, so it will remain open Sundays and Mondays. Fishery managers will continue to monitor the run as the season progresses.

Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook is 12 inches. Chinook jacks are less than 24 inches long. Adipose fin-clipped fish that can be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin. All chinook with the adipose fin intact, and all steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed.

In Addition: Anglers fishing for all species in identified areas of the Snake River during the salmon fishery must use barbless hooks, and only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. Night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon, and it is unlawful to use any hook larger than 5/8 inch (point of hook to shank) when fishing for all species except sturgeon. Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to check the 2013/2014 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc. Fishing rules are subject to change; please check the emergency fishing regulations at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ . Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules.

Information Contact: John Whalen, Region 1 Fish Program manager, (509) 892-7861.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.