Two areas of the Yakima River will open next month for anglers to take advantage of what should be a fairly decent return of hatchery spring chinook.
State and tribal fisheries managers are predicting about 3,300 adult hatchery chinook will be available for sport anglers to catch this season.
The Yakima (referred to as Area 1) from the Highway 240 Bridge in Richland (River Mile 2.1) to the Grant Avenue Bridge in Prosser (River Mile 47.0) about 1,000 feet below of Prosser Dam will be open daily from May 3 through June 15.
The Yakima (referred to as Area 2) from the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap (River Mile 107.1) to the BNSF Railroad Bridge about 600 feet below from Roza Dam (River Mile 127.8) will be open daily from May 17 through June 30.
The daily limit will be two hatchery chinook with a minimum size of 12 inches. All wild fish must be released.
The two-pole endorsement is allowed by anglers who pay the additional fee. Steelhead fishing is closed.
Special rules for Area 1 are terminal gear is restricted to one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less when fishing for salmon. Use of bait is allowed.
Also during this salmon fishery the Yakima River adjacent to the USBR Chandler Powerhouse/Pumping Station is closed to all fishing from the WDFW white markers 200 feet downstream of the spillway chute to the power line crossing immediately upstream of the powerhouse.
Special rules for Area 2 are during this salmon fishery the upper “closed water” boundary line is moved up to the railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook. Terminal gear is restricted to one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less.
During the salmon fishery, the “Selective Gear Rules” prohibiting use of bait and knotted nets is temporarily suspended, but only in the river section open to salmon fishing. A night closure is in effect.
In Area 2 fishing from boats equipped with an internal combustion motor (ICM) is allowed only from the I-82 Bridge at Union Gap to the east-bound (upstream) I-82 Bridge at Selah Gap. Boats with an ICM may be used for transportation only upstream of the Selah Gap Bridge.
Closed to fishing for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Avenue/Terrace Heights Road Bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons Inc.
Retention of trout and other game fish is prohibited until the statewide river season opener on Saturday, June 7.