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Daily limits on salmon increased on mainstem parts of Columbia River

As of today (Friday), anglers will be able to retain eight salmon, including up to six adult sockeye salmon, in the mainstem portions of the Columbia River above Priest Rapids Dam.

The fishing rule change on the Columbia River, from Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Day, is in effect through Aug. 31 of this year.

The increased daily salmon limits will also apply from July 11 to Oct. 15 on the Columbia between Wanapum Dam and Wells Dam.

From Wells Dam to the Hwy. 173 Bridge in Brewster, the increased daily limits will be in effect from July 16 to Aug. 31. From the Hwy. 173 Bridge in Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam, the fishing rule change applies from July 11 to Oct 15.

The species that is affected by this new rule change is sockeye salmon.

State officials say sockeye salmon returns above Priest Rapids Dam are predicted to be far in excess of needs for wild fish escapement to the spawning grounds. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act. 

The minimum size of the sockeye that can be kept by anglers is 12 inches. There is a daily limit of eight salmon, up to two may be adult hatchery chinook and up to six may be sockeye. 

All coho and wild adult chinook salmon that are caught must be released.  Also, all sockeye with colored anchor (floy) tags attached must be released unharmed back into the river.

State officials say all anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in this fishing season.

Fishing regulations are subject to change. Anglers can call the WDFW Fishing Hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, or check the WDFW webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

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