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Hanford Reach anglers have ample opportunities

Thanks to an increase in the number of fall chinook returning to the Columbia River, fisherman using two poles now can claim a daily limit of six salmon in the area commonly known as the Hanford Reach portion of the Columbia River.

Fishermen angling by boat are impacted by this new rule change for the area between Highway 395 in Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam. In addition, the rule only applies through Oct. 22. The rule change allows that three of the daily limit may be adult salmon.

Once the daily limit of adult salmon is caught, anglers may not continue to fish for any species for the reminder of the day.

Boat anglers are not allowed to fish in the hatchery discharge, but they may fish in the Columbia River adjacent to the channel. Bank fishing in this area is closed for the safety and security of the hatchery, according to Biologist Paul Hoffarth of the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s District 4.

The current in-season run update is for 114,300 adult natural-origin fall chinooks to return to the Hanford Reach spawning grounds, Hoffarth said. He said this amount of fish is well over the earlier target for spawning escapement.

In addition, a record return of hatchery chinook to the Priest Rapids and Ringold Spring hatcheries is also anticipated, he explained.

In other good news for fishermen, the area between Highway 395 and the old Hanford town site has been extended to Oct. 31. The same daily limit of six salmon applies for this area, as well.

Restrictions to the rules include using barbless hooks when fishing for salmon or steelhead. Fishermen must also be in possession of a Washington state fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement.

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