OLYMPIA -- Anglers fishing for steelhead in the Snake River in southeast Washington must release all salmon, including chinook bearing jaw tags.
The hatchery steelhead season began this month and peaks in October and November. Chinook will be in the river through early December.
Approximately 100 hatchery-produced chinook have been marked with jaw tags so their movements can be studied. The adult fish were fitted with the tags at the Lower Granite Dam. The chinook are part of a recovery plan designed to rebuild the endangered Snake River fall chinook run.
Anglers must release all wild and hatchery salmon, including the fall chinook. They also must release wild steelhead. Anglers may keep hatchery steelhead. The adipose fin has been clipped from hatchery steelhead.
Anglers finding jaw tags on dead salmon are urged to return the tags to the department's Snake River Fish Lab in Dayton. Living salmon with jaw tags must be released immediately.
Attempts to read the tags on living salmon will stress the fish. That could result in a citation for illegal harassment.