The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is changing rules on Chinook Salmon fishing in the Snake River for this fall.
Action: Opens Chinook salmon retention in areas of the Snake River.
Species affected: Chinook salmon.
Location: Snake River.
Specific locations, dates, and rules:
Lyons Ferry Bubble Fishery from the red river marker (Marker 28) on the south shore of the Snake River upstream to the Highway 261 Bridge (approximately 1.4 miles):
Open Sept. 7, until further notice, on Thursdays through Sundays only each week.
Salmon daily limit two (2) adult Chinook including no more than one (1) wild adult Chinook. No daily limit for jack Chinook (wild or hatchery). The minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon other than Chinook. Barbless hooks are required.
From the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake River just upstream of West Evans Road on the south shore (approximately 3 miles downstream of Clarkston), upstream to the Oregon state line:
Open daily from Aug. 18 through Oct. 31, 2023.
Daily limit three (3) adult Chinook (wild or hatchery). No limit for jack Chinook (wild or hatchery). The minimum size is 12 inches. Release all salmon other than Chinook—barbless hooks are required.
Reason for action: The 2023 Columbia River forecasted return of upriver bright adults is 272,400, with a significant portion of these fish expected to return to the Snake River.
Additional information: WDFW requires all Washington licensed anglers to cease fishing for Chinook once they have retained their adult daily limit. Adult Chinook are 24 inches in length or larger, and jack Chinook are less than 24 inches in length. Two-pole permits are not allowed during this fishery.
When fishing in the Snake River between Washington and Idaho, the holder of a valid Washington fishing license may fish the Snake River, which forms a boundary between the states of Washington and Idaho. Washington licensed anglers are subject to the Washington fishing rules and may not fish from the shore, including wading, and may not fish sloughs or tributaries on the Idaho side.
Any angler who fishes on the Snake River or any other water forming a Washington boundary can only utilize the fishing privileges (limits, size restriction, etc.) of one state’s fishing license at a time. Before using a Washington fishing license or fishing Washington-only waters, any fish retained while utilizing another state’s license must be returned to shore before continuing to angle.
Anglers should identify their catch; returning coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery. All salmonids (salmon or steelhead) not kept as part of the daily limit cannot be removed from the water and must be immediately released unharmed. All fall Chinook, adults, and jacks must be immediately recorded upon retention on a catch record card when utilizing a Washington fishing license.
Anglers should continue to check emergency regulations for new and changing seasons or sign up for email notifications on any rule change at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.
In addition, anglers are reminded to refer to the 2023/2024 Washington Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet for other rules and regulations.