Spring chinook fishing will open very soon in three sections of the Snake River, but go sooner than later as they aren’t expected to stay open for very long due to a small forecasted run size.
The Snake below Ice Harbor Dam near Pasco opens Friday (April 26), and fishing will be allowed Friday and Saturday of each week until further notice. This area is below Ice Harbor Dam: Extends from Highway 12 Bridge at Pasco up about seven miles to about 400 feet below Ice Harbor Dam.
The two sections of the Snake near Little Goose Dam and Clarkston will open Sunday (April 28), and fishing will be allowed Sunday and Monday each week until further notice.
The specific areas open near Little Goose Dam are Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of the river approximately 3.5 miles up of Tucannon River mouth) to the fishing restriction boundary below 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 near Clarkston is from 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.
In a news release, a state fisheries biologist says all three areas aren’t predicted to stay open for more than a few weeks.
Each area will close once the sport catch allocation is achieved or allowable impacts on wild stocks reach federal limits.
About 58,200 spring chinook (168,000 last year) were forecast to return to the Snake River, including 39,300 hatchery origin fish (129,000).
Daily catch limit is one hatchery-marked adult chinook, and four hatchery jack chinook less than 24 inches long.
One exception is the south shoreline of Little Goose Dam including “The Wall” up to the juvenile-bypass return pipe, where anglers may retain only one adult hatchery chinook and one hatchery jack daily.
Only barbless hooks may be used, and anglers must stop fishing when they catch their daily limit of adult fish.