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Lower Snake River Chinook Season to Close

Chinook fisheries on two sections
of the lower Snake River set to close

Action: Spring chinook salmon fishing closes on the Snake River below Ice Harbor and Little Goose dams, but remains unchanged in the Lower Granite and Clarkston areas.

Species affected:   Chinook salmon.

Snake River fishery zones to close.   

  1. Below Ice Harbor Dam:   Effective immediately, Snake River from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about 7 miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam;
  2. Below Little Goose Dam: Effective 1 hour after official sunset on Saturday May 9, Snake River from Texas Rapids boat launch (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 (includes the walkway area locally known as “the wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility);

Snake River fishery zones to remain open:

  1. Below Lower Granite Dam:   Snake River from the south shore boat launch (Ilia Boat Launch) across to the mouth of Almota Creek upstream about four miles to the restricted fishing area below Lower Granite Dam.
  2. Clarkston:   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 (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA / ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).

Dates:   Zones remaining open are open three days per week until further notice.

  • Area C (below Lower Granite Dam) will be open only Sunday through Tuesday each week until further notice.
  • Area D (near Clarkston) open Thursday, May 7, and will be open only Thursday through Saturday each week until further notice. 

Daily limits: 6 hatchery chinook (adipose fin clipped), of which no more than one may be an adult chinook salmon.  For all areas open for chinook salmon harvest, anglers must cease fishing when the hatchery adult limit has been retained for the day.

Possession limits:   During these fisheries, possession limits for spring chinook salmon will be increased to allow three daily limits in fresh form.

Reason for action:   Based on current harvest estimates, and anticipated harvest through Tuesday, May 5, an estimated 1,200 adult hatchery chinook are expected to have been harvested.  Monday, May 4, the upriver spring chinook run was updated to 241,000 fish.  In an effort to share fishing opportunity and harvest, the lower two fishery zones (where most harvest has occurred) will close and the upper two zones will remain open on a three day rotating basis until further notice. In an effort to promote this fishery as a destination fishing opportunity, this rule will allow anglers to possess a reasonable amount of fish during their stay.

Other information:   The minimum size of any retained chinook salmon is 12 inches.  Jacks are less than 24 inches long.  The adipose fin-clipped chinook salmon that can be retained must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.  All chinook salmon with the adipose fin intact, and all bull trout and steelhead, must be immediately released unharmed. 

In addition:   Anglers fishing for all species, in the areas open for chinook salmon, during the days of the week the salmon fishery is open in that area, must use barbless hooks.  Only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon.

A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon.  It shall be unlawful to use any hook larger than 5/8 inch (point of hook to shank) when fishing for all species except sturgeon.  Anglers cannot remove any chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily bag limit. 

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2014 / 2015 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including safety closures, CLOSED WATERS, etc.