Hanford Reach to open for sockeye fishing
June 27, 2016
Actions: Opens sockeye salmon to retention
Effective date: June 28 through Aug. 15, 2016
Species affected: Sockeye salmon
Area 1: Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point (CRC 534)
Daily Limit: Daily limit of three (3) salmon, of which one (1) may be an adult hatchery chinook and two (2) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.
Area 2: Columbia River from the Interstate 182 Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam (CRC 535, 536)
Daily Limit: Daily limit of six (6) salmon, of which two (2) may be adult hatchery chinook and three (3) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.
Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon and must have a current Washington fishing license, as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Anglers may fish with two poles with the Two-Pole Endorsement, except for sturgeon.
Reason for action: The sockeye run has exceeded the pre-season forecast of 102,000 fish returning to the river mouth (currently ~240,000 at Bonneville thru 6/26 with the total return now projected to reach 400,000). Barring extreme high water temperatures like 2015 that caused unprecedented pre-spawning mortality, sufficient escapement of fish to meet spawning needs in the Wenatchee and Okanogan Rivers should be realized. Over 110,000 sockeye have crossed McNary Dam, and consequently, sockeye retention upstream of the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam can now be opened.
Due to the debilitating losses of almost all spawning sockeye in the Okanogan River in 2015, fisheries managers are proceeding conservatively until spawning escapements into the Wenatchee and Okanogan Rivers are assured, As the run progresses up river, sockeye seasons above Priest Rapids Dam are likely, provided water temperatures in route to Canada are not lethal. Anglers should watch WDFW's website for further actions.
Information contacts: John Easterbrooks, Region 3 Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima) or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624 (Ephrata)
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.