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‘Nookie News, Rule Changes

First the bad news: ” … anglers will be required to release all Chinook beginning Sept. 22 in Grays Harbor Area 2-2 (east of the buoy 13 line) where the fishery will close for nearly a week the following day (Sept. 23). The salmon fishery will reopen Sept. 29 with a daily limit of three salmon, but anglers will be required to release all Chinook.”

Now for the good news: 

Expansion of fishing area for fall Chinook in the Snake and Columbia rivers

Action: The area open for harvest of fall Chinook in the Snake River is extended to include the lower Snake River from the mouth to the Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco and that portion of the Columbia River defined as the Snake River Confluence Protection Area.

Locations:    Waters of the Columbia River from the railroad bridge between Burbank and Kennewick upstream approximately 2.1 miles to the first powerline crossing upstream of the navigation light on the point of Sacajawea State Park, and the Snake River from the mouth to the Oregon State line (located approximately 7 miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River).

Dates:   Sept. 23 through Oct. 31, 2013.

Species affected:   Chinook salmon.

Reason for action: The Columbia River in-season forecast for returning upriver bright fall chinook has been upgraded to 832,500.  Estimates based on PIT tag expansions from returning chinook suggest that over 50,000 fall Chinook may return to the Snake River this fall.  Significant steelhead fisheries also occur in the area and hatchery fall Chinook are expected to be caught during steelhead fishing.  Retention of hatchery fall chinook, and the expansion of the fishery area to include the Snake River Confluence Protection Area, is not expected to exceed allowable impacts on ESA listed wild fall chinook.  Therefore, adipose clipped hatchery fall chinook that are caught can be retained in the Snake River Confluence Protection Area and in the Snake River.

Other Information: The Snake River from Highway 12 near Pasco upstream to the Oregon State border remains open.  The salmon daily harvest limit in the Snake River Confluence Protection Area, and the Washington portion of the Snake River, including the boundary water between Idaho and Washington is three (3) adipose fin-clipped chinook adults (24 inches in length and larger), and six (6) adipose fin-clipped jack chinook (less than 24 inches).  Minimum size for chinook that can be retained in the Snake River is 12 inches.

Harvest of hatchery chinook (adults and jacks) is allowed seven days per week.  Anglers must cease fishing for salmon and steelhead for the day once they have retained three (3) hatchery steelhead – regardless of whether the salmon daily limit has been retained.  Adipose fin-clipped fish must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.  All chinook and steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed.  In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River Confluence Protection Area and in the Snake River.  Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit.  Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because returning unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.  Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2013 / 2014 Fishing in Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.

Hanford Reach (Columbia River) fall chinook salmon fishery enhancements

Actions:  

Effective Sept. 21 through Oct. 22, 2013:

  1. Fishing for salmon with two poles is permitted from the Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam if the angler possesses a two-pole license endorsement.
  2. Daily limit 6 salmon, up to three (3) may be adult salmon . Once the daily limit of adult salmon is retained, anglers may not continue to fish for any species for the remainder of the day.
  3. Open the closed water boundaries at the Priest Rapids Hatchery discharge channel, commonly referred to as Jackson/Moran Creek, to angling by boat only .  Boat anglers are not allowed to fish in the hatchery discharge channel, but may fish in the Columbia River adjacent to the channel. The shoreline within the normal closed area boundary will remain closed to bank angling for safety and security of the hatchery.

Effective Sept. 21 through October 31, 2013:

  1. The salmon fishery season between the Hwy. 395 Bridge and the Old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers is extended through Oct. 31, 2013.
  2. Daily limit 6 salmon, up to three (3) may be adult salmon . Once the daily limit of adult salmon is retained, anglers may not continue to fish for any species for the remainder of the day.
  3. Fishing for salmon with two poles is permitted from the Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam if the angler possesses a two-pole license endorsement.

Effective date:    Sept. 21, 2013.  

Species affected:   Chinook salmon.

Location:   Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam.

Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon or steelhead.  Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Revenue from the CRSSE supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system.

Reason for action:   The current in-season run update is for 114,300 adult natural-origin fall Chinook to return to the Hanford Reach spawning grounds, which is far in excess of the target spawning escapement. In addition, record returns of hatchery chinook to Priest Rapids and Ringold Spring hatcheries are anticipated.

Anglers may retain any legal size fall Chinook in the Columbia River Wanapum Pool

Actions: Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam: Daily limit 6 Chinook, up to two (2) may be adult Chinook . Minimum size 12 inches. Anglers may retain any legal size chinook regardless of whether the adipose fin has been clipped or not.

Effective date: Sept. 21 through Oct.15, 2013.

Species affected: Fall Chinook salmon.

Location: Columbia River from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam.

Reason for action: Current estimates for the fall Chinook run far exceed the forecast. There are currently close to 20,000 adult fall Chinook returning to the Wanapum pool, which is four times the 10 year average.

Other information: Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Revenue from the CRSSE supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River basin.

 

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