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Two Sections Of The Yakima River To Open For Spring Chinook Fishing


April 15, 2015

Action: Open two sections of the Yakima River to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon.

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon.

Locations & Dates:

Area 1: Open daily May 2 through June 15 from the Hwy. 240 bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) to the Grant Avenue bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0) approximately 1,000 feet downstream of Prosser Dam.

Area 2: Open daily May 9 through June 30 from the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap (river mile 107.1) to the BNSF railroad bridge approximately 600 feet downstream of Roza Dam (river mile 127.8).

Reason for action: Yakama Nation (YN) and WDFW fishery managers are forecasting a harvestable return of 3,900 adult hatchery spring chinook to the Yakima River in 2015. Opening the two sections of the Yakima River for spring chinook will provide additional fishing opportunity.

Other information (both areas):

Daily limit of two (2) 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.

The use of two (2) 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).

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 except for “Free Fishing Weekend,” June 6-7 (recording salmon catch on a free Catch Record Card is required on Free Fishing Weekend).

Special Rules for Area 1:

Terminal gear is restricted to two, single-point, barbless hooks with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less when fishing for salmon. Use of bait is allowed.

For the duration of this salmon fishery, the Yakima River adjacent to the USBR Chandler Powerhouse/Pumping Station is closed to all fishing from the WDFW white markers 200’ downstream of the spillway chute to the power line crossing immediately upstream of the powerhouse.

Special Rules for Area 2:

For the duration of this salmon fishery, the upper “closed water” boundary line is moved upstream to the railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook.

Terminal gear is restricted to two, single-point, barbless hooks 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.

Night closure in effect.

Other information (Area 2):

Fishing from boats equipped with an internal combustion motor (ICM) is allowed only from the I-82 bridge at Union Gap to the east-bound (upstream) I-82 bridge at Selah Gap. Boats with an ICM may be used for transportation only upstream of the Selah Gap bridge.

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.

Retention of trout and other game fish is prohibited until the statewide river season opener on Saturday, June 6.

Information contacts: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco); Eric Anderson, District 8 Fish Biologist, (509) 457-9301 (Yakima); or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.


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