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Ecology and salmon related articles

Chinook Fishing to `Close
On 2 Snake River Sections

by Rich Landers
Spokesman-Review, May 6, 2015

A small boat load of young anglers display their catch of Chinook salmon. FISHING -- Spring chinook fishing is closing on the Snake River below Ice Harbor and Little Goose dams, but will remain unchanged in the Lower Granite and Clarkston areas, according to a rule just announced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Salmon anglers must be tuned in to emergency rule changes as sport catch quotas are reached and overall run estimates are re-evaluated.

Snake River fishery zones to close.

Snake River fishery zones to remain open: Dates: Zones remaining open are open three days per week until further notice. Daily limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon. For all areas open for chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Possession limits: During these fisheries, possession limits for spring chinook salmon will be increased to allow three daily limits in fresh form.

Reason for action: Based on current harvest estimates, and anticipated harvest through Tuesday, May 5, an estimated 1,200 adult hatchery chinook are expected to have been harvested. Monday, May 4, the upriver spring chinook run was updated to 241,000 fish. In an effort to share fishing opportunity and harvest, the lower two fishery zones (where most harvest has occurred) will close and the upper two zones will remain open on a three day rotating basis until further notice. In an effort to promote this fishery as a destination fishing opportunity, this rule will allow anglers to possess a reasonable amount of fish during their stay.

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

In addition: Anglers fishing for all species, in the areas open for chinook salmon, during the days of the week the salmon fishery is open in that area, must use barbless hooks. Only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon.

A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon. 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 salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.

Other applicable regulations are in the 2014-2015 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license and catch record card, appropriate to the fishery, and a Columbia River endorsement added to their license.

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; or check the WDFW website for emergency regulation changes.

Rich Landers
Chinook Fishing to `Close On 2 Snake River Sections
Spokesman-Review, May 6, 2015

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