Two sections of the Yakima River opened last week to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon.
That's according to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, which notes the sections and dates for hatchery spring chinook salmon fishing are as follows:
Area one from the Interstate 1-82 bridge in Richland (river mile 4.5) to 400 feet downstream of Horn Rapids (Wanawish) Dam (river mile 18.0); May 7 - June 15.
Area two the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap (river mile 107.1) to the BNRR bridge approximately 500 feet downstream of Roza Dam (river mile 127.8); May 14 - June 30.
Fish and Wildlife fishery managers are taking this action because they forecast a harvestable return of adult hatchery spring chinook to the Yakima River this year.
Officials also note:
• A daily limit of two hatchery chinook. Minimum size - 12 inches. Hatchery salmon are identified by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin.
Wild salmon (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
• In both areas, the use of two fishing poles is permitted during the salmon fishery provided the participating angler has purchased a "Two-Pole Endorsement" (in addition to the freshwater fishing license and Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead endorsement).
• Special rules for area one: Terminal gear is restricted to one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less when fishing for salmon. Use of bait is allowed.
• Special rules for area two:
- For the duration of this salmon fishery, the upper "closed water" boundary line for Area 2 is moved upstream to the railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook.
- Terminal gear is restricted to one, single-point, barbless hook with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less.
- During the salmon fishery, the "Selective Gear Rules" prohibiting use of bait and knotted nets is temporarily suspended, but only in the river section open to salmon fishing.
- Use of boats equipped with an internal combustion engine is allowed only from the I-82 bridge at Union Gap to the east-bound (upstream) I-82 bridge at Selah Gap.
- Night closure in effect.
- Retention of trout and other game fish is prohibited until the statewide river season opener on Saturday, June 4.
• Closed to fishing for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Ave./Terrace Heights Rd. bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons Inc.
• Fishing for steelhead remains closed. All steelhead (rainbow trout greater than 20" in total length) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
• A Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement is required to participate in this fishery.
Anglers must have a current Washington fishing license. Fishing regulations are subject to change.
Call the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules or visit on-line at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ for details on fishing seasons and regulations.