FISHING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has just announced it will open catch-and-keep steelheading earlier than scheduled on the Columbia River between the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco and the wooden power line towers at the old Hanford townsite.
The season for hatchery-raised steelhead will open Friday (Sept. 16) and run through Oct. 31.
Read on for details.
This action allows anglers to retain hatchery steelhead prior to the Oct. 1 opening listed in the Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules (Page 77) from the Hwy. 395 Bridge to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers (Lower Hanford Reach), and removes the requirement for both an adipose fin clip and ventral fin clip for hatchery steelhead retained prior to Nov. 1. The Lower Hanford Reach will remain open for hatchery steelhead fishing after Oct. 31 under the current permanent regulation listed in the fishing rules pamphlet and is scheduled to run through March 31, 2012.
Reason for action: Returns of hatchery and natural-origin steelhead to the Upper Columbia River have exceeded the run criteria of 8,300 counted over Priest Rapids Dam. This number (8,300) are required to open a conservation-based fishery under the Endangered Species Act.