Outdoors blog

Wenatchee River opening to chinook fishing

SALMON FISHING -- A selective chinook fishery opens Saturday on the lower Wenatchee River. 

Read on for the details from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Action: Anglers will be able to fish for and retain adipose fin clipped adult and jack summer chinook salmon in the lower mainstem Wenatchee River.

Rule: Daily limit of two adipose fin clipped summer chinook (adult or jack). All other fish must be released. Selective gear rules (single barbless lures or flies, no bait allowed). In addition, no boats with motors (Chelan Co. ordinance 7.20.190Motorboat restrictions), knotless nets, and night closure are in effect.

Effective dates and locations:

(1)Aug. 4, 2012-Oct. 15, 2012, Wenatchee River from the mouth (confluence with the Columbia River) to 400 feet below Dryden Dam.

(2)Sept. 1, 2012-Oct. 15, 2012, Wenatchee River from the confluence of Peshastin Creek to a line perpendicular to the river at a marker on the opposite shore (approximately 1,000 feet above Dryden Dam) to the Icicle Creek Road bridge on the west end of Leavenworth.

Species affected: Summer run chinook salmon.

Reason for action: Hatchery summer chinook returns to the Wenatchee River are predicted to be in excess of spawning escapement needs. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The majority of spring chinook and bull trout will have migrated to the upper Wenatchee River, and few steelhead will remain in the mainstem.

Other information: Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Revenue from the CRSSE supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River basin.

Important angler note: All chinook with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round ¼ inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin must be released. These fish are essential to ongoing studies being conducted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license in addition to a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement Stamp.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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