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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Snake River opens for fall hatchery chinook beginning Sept. 1

A strong return of fall chinook will allow fishing for them in the Snake River from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

This includes all sections upstream from the mouth of the Snake River, beginning at the south bound lanes of the Highway 12 Bridge (near Pasco) to the Oregon State line (located approximately 7 miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River).

Significant steelhead fisheries also occur in the area, and some hatchery fall chinook are expected to be caught during steelhead fishing. Hatchery-marked chinook with an adipose fin clipped can be retained.

The salmon daily harvest limit in the Washington portion of the Snake River is three adipose fin-clipped fall chinook adults (24 inches in length and larger), and three adipose fin-clipped jack fall chinook (less than 24 inches). Minimum size for chinook that can be retained in the Snake River is 12 inches.

Harvest of hatchery chinook (adults and jacks) is allowed seven days per week. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon and steelhead for the day once they have retained 3 hatchery steelhead (regardless of whether the salmon daily limit has been retained).

All chinook and steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed. In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River.

Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because returning unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.

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