Recreational fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River's Ringold area north of the Tri-Cities will be allowed May 15 through July 31.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fish managers expect about 1,600 spring chinook and several hundred steelhead to return to Ringold during the season. The salmon are produced for recreational harvest and do not impact any protected stocks. The steelhead are the last of those produced from Skamania stock and are returning after three years in the ocean.
The season is open only in the Ringold Area Bank Fishery, as defined in the department's fishing regulations pamphlet (waters of the Columbia River adjacent to Ringold Hatchery from WDFW markers 1/4 mile downstream of the Ringold wasteway outlet to WDFW markers 1/2 mile upstream of Spring Creek.) Fishing is open only on the bank on hatchery side of the river (east side in Franklin County. The daily catch limit is two salmon with a minimum size of 12 inches, and two steelhead with a minimum size of 20 inches.
WDFW managers note that this may be one of the final seasons for the Ringold spring chinook fishery because recent Mitchell Act funding cuts have resulted in elimination of the spring chinook rearing program.