As of Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Two sections of the Snake River, below Ice Harbor Dam near Pasco and below Lower Granite Dam, will open to fishing for spring chinook salmon this coming Sunday, April 19.
Two other sections of the river - below Little Goose Dam and at Clarkston - will open Thursday, April 23.
Each section of the river is scheduled to be open three days per week. Waters below Ice Harbor Dam and below Lower Granite Dam are scheduled to be open Sunday through Tuesday each week, while the Little Goose Dam and Clarkston area sections will be open Thursday through Saturday each week.
All four sections will remain open until further notice.
Jeremy Trump, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the fishing season will likely remain open from four to six weeks.
“We have a strong run-size forecast for Columbia River spring chinook this year, so we will likely be able to sustain fishing into late May,” Trump said.
The season will close when the Snake River harvest allocation is met or allowable impacts on wild stocks reach federal limits, he said.
The daily catch limit for open areas is six hatchery chinook - marked by a clipped adipose fin - of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon. Jacks are less than 24 inches long, and any chinook salmon measuring less than 12 inches must be released.
During these fishing seasons, possession limits will be increased to allow three daily limits of spring chinook salmon in fresh form.
In all areas, anglers are required to use barbless hooks, and must stop fishing for the day when they reach their daily limit of adult hatchery chinook salmon. All chinook with an adipose fin, and all steelhead, must immediately be released unharmed.
“Our ability to closely monitor this fishery, as required by federal permit, is due in large part to funds from the Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement,” said Trump. “Without the monitoring, we wouldn’t be able to open this fishery.”
The endorsement, required of all anglers fishing for salmon or steelhead in the Columbia River system (which includes the Snake River), costs $8.75; seniors and youth pay $7.10.
Trump strongly encourages anglers to review the spring chinook fishing rule change, posted on WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/
General fishing regulations for the Snake River, in effective through June 30, are available in the Fishing in Washington rule pamphlet (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/).