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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 26, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Snake River is open for hatchery spring chinook in anticipation of a large return

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The numbers of spring chinook continue to increase at all Columbia River fish dam passages, and sections of the Snake River are now open for fishing.

Two areas of the Snake River below Little Goose Dam and Clarkston, and two locations below the Ice Harbor Dam near Pasco and below Lower Granite Dam are open for spring chinook fishing.

The Little Goose Dam and Clarkston area is open Thursday through Saturday only, and below the Ice Harbor Dam and below Lower Granite Dam are open Sunday through Tuesday only.

The fisheries are expected to stay open for about four to six weeks, and close once the catch allocation is achieved or allowable impacts on wild chinook are attained.

State Fish and Wildlife managers are hopeful the season could remain open into mid-June with about 125,000 spring chinook (83,000 are of hatchery origin) expected to return to the Snake River Basin.

That is compared to last year’s forecast of 58,200 (39,300 were of hatchery origin).

The daily limit for most of the open areas is one hatchery adult chinook, and five 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 from the juvenile-bypass return pipe, where anglers may retain one adult hatchery chinook salmon but only two hatchery jacks daily.

The details of each area open are:

Below Little Goose Dam:  Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (on the south side of the river upstream of the mouth of Tucannon River) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam. This zone includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility. This area includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility.

Clarkston: Snake River from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River (just upstream from West Evans Road on the south shore) upstream about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line. (The state line extends from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).

Below Ice Harbor:  Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam;

Below Lower Granite Dam:  Snake River from the Ilia Boat Launch on the south across to the mouth of Almota Creek upstream about four miles to the restricted fishing area below Lower Granite Dam.

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