Washington's Snake River spring chinook fishery opens April 20, 2012
Action: Sections of the Snake River open for spring chinook fishing.
Species affected: Spring chinook
Effective Dates: April 20 through May 24, 2012 below Ice Harbor Dam (Area A);
April 25 through May 31, 2012 for areas B, C, and D.
A) 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) Snake River from the railroad bridge approximately 1/2 mile downstream of Tucannon River mouth, upriver to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam, and from Little Goose Dam to the Corps of Engineers boat launch approximately 1 mile upstream of Little Goose Dam (along the south shoreline). 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);
C) Snake River from Casey Creek Canyon Road on the Garfield County shore (approximately 6 miles downstream of Lower Granite Dam) to the fishing restriction boundary downstream of Lower Granite Dam.
D) Snake River from the intersection of Steptoe Canyon Road with Hwy 193 (Snake River Road) on the Whitman County shore, upriver approximately 12 miles to the Idaho state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston, northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary marker on the Whitman County shore).
Daily Limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than two may be adult chinook. EXCEPTION: 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). The daily bag limit for this limited area will allow retention of one jack and one adult hatchery chinook. An angler must cease fishing when the 1 allowed adult is retained. For all areas open for chinook, anglers must cease fishing when the adult limit has been retained for the day.
Reason for action: The predicted 314,200 upriver spring chinook return allows for fishing opportunities in the Snake River within Washington.
Other Information: The minimum size of any retained chinook is 12 inches. Jacks are less than 24 inches long. The adipose fin-clipped fish 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; barbless hooks only when fishing for all species, and only single barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. Night closure in effect for salmon and sturgeon, and it shall be 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 refer to the 2011/2012 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet (in effect through April 30, 2012), and the new 2012/2013 sport fishing rules pamphlet (in effect May 1, 2012) for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc. Angler catch rates will be monitored closely and Snake River salmon fisheries may be closed prior to May 31 based upon conservation needs.