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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 6, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Four areas of the Snake River to open soon for spring chinook

The spring chinook fishery will open on four parts of the Snake River beginning April 20 in the section below Ice Harbor Dam, which will tentatively remain open through May 24.

The other areas opening on April 25 through May 31 are near Little Goose Dam, Lower Granite Dam and Clarkston.

All the areas may close earlier if impacts on wild stocks reach federal limits.

Daily catch limit for most of the open areas is two hatchery-reared adult chinook – marked with a clipped adipose fin – and four hatchery jacks measuring less than 24 inches.

The exception is the area along the south shoreline of the Little Goose Dam (including “the wall”) upstream to the juvenile-bypass return pipe, where anglers may keep only one adult chinook and one hatchery jack daily.

Barbless hooks are required in all areas, and anglers must stop fishing for the day when they reach their daily limit of adult spring chinook. All wild chinook and steelhead must be released.

A total of 168,000 spring chinook are predicted to return to the Snake River Basin this year, including 129,000 hatchery fish. Last year’s forecast anticipated a return of 194,000 spring chinook, but only 66,000 hatchery fish.

The section of the Snake River below Ice Harbor Dam extends from the Highway 12 bridge at Pasco upstream about seven miles to about 400 feet below the dam.

The area near Little Goose Dam is from the railroad bridge approximately a half-mile downstream from the mouth of the Tucannon River, upriver to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam, and from Little Goose Dam to the Corps of Engineers boat launch approximately one mile upstream of 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 and the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility.

The area below Lower Granite Dam is from Casey Creek Canyon Road in Garfield County (located about six miles downstream of Lower Granite Dam) to about 400 feet below Lower Granite Dam.

The area near Clarkston is from the intersection of Steptoe Canyon Road with Highway 193 in Whitman County, upriver about 12 miles to the Idaho state line (identified as a line from the north end of the rock levee on the east side of the Greenbelt boat launch near the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office), northwest across the Snake River to the Idaho/Washington marker on the north shore.

Anglers are advised to check the regulations the state Fish and Wildlife website before going.

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