OLYMPIA – Effective immediately, Snake River spring chinook fishing will close for the season below Ice Harbor Dam and Little Goose Dam, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The closure does not include spring chinook fisheries in the four miles below Lower Granite Dam, or in the Clarkston area. Both areas will remain open on a weekly schedule until further notice.
John Whalen, WDFW’s eastern region fish program manager, said the department is closing the fishery in the lower river, where most of the harvestable fish have been caught this season.
Meanwhile, fishery managers have added an additional day of fishing each week in the two upper river sections to provide more opportunity in those areas.
The areas of the Snake River closed to fishing are:
- 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 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. The walkway area locally known as "the Wall" in front of the juvenile collection facility also will close to fishing.
Snake River areas that will remain open for fishing include:
- Below Lower Granite Dam: Open Saturday through Tuesday each week, until further notice. 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.
- Clarkston: Open Thursday through Sunday each week, until further notice. 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).
The daily catch limit is one hatchery adult chinook – marked with a clipped adipose fin – and five hatchery jacks measuring less than 24 inches.
Barbless hooks are required in all areas, and anglers must stop fishing for the day when they reach their daily limit of adult chinook salmon. All chinook with an adipose fin, and all steelhead, must immediately be released unharmed.
Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. For more details on the fishery, check the rule change on WDFW’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1439.