OLYMPIA - A strong return of hatchery steelhead to the mid-Columbia River means anglers can retain hatchery fish with either a clipped adipose or clipped ventral fin beginning Friday (Oct. 1), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
In recent years, crews at the Ringold hatchery have clipped both the adipose and a ventral fin from hatchery steelhead to identify them as fish available for harvest.
However, a strong return of hatchery steelhead to the upper Columbia River this year expands the opportunity for anglers in the Hanford Reach to harvest hatchery steelhead bearing just the adipose fin clip, as well as steelhead with both the adipose and ventral fin clips.
The retention of any hatchery steelhead applies to the mainstem Columbia River from the 395 Bridge at Pasco to the old Hanford town site's wooden towers upstream of the Ringold hatchery.
Any hatchery steelhead with an adipose clip can also be retained in the upper Columbia River above Rocky Reach Dam and in the Methow and Okanogan rivers. The daily limit is two hatchery steelhead at least 20 inches in length. Complete details of fishing rules is available by calling WDFW's fishing rule change hotline, (360) 902-2500, or on WDFW's fishing rule change web page on the Internet.