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Chelan tailrace opening to salmon fishing

FISHING -- Starting Saturday, fishing for chinook salmon will be allowed at the Lake Chelan Project Tailrace to target fish returning to a net pen release area.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has announced the season will run Sept. 1-Oct. 15 from the railroad bridge to the Chelan PUD safety barrier below the powerhouse.

 Read on for details posted by the agency.

Daily Limit: Six chinook salmon; up to 3 adult chinook may be retained, of which only 1 may be a wild adult chinook. Minimum size is 12 inches.

Location: Lake Chelan Project (powerhouse) Tailrace from the railroad bridge to the Chelan PUD safety barrier below the powerhouse.

Other angler information: Night closure and anti-snagging rule is in effect. Internal combustion motors prohibited. Anglers must stay downstream of Chelan County PUD boundary signs on the northern shoreline. Fishing along the southwest shoreline (shoreline on the same side of the river as the Chelan Co. PUD Powerhouse Park) is limited to wading only (no fishing from bank in this area). No fishing in the Chelan Co. PUD Powerhouse Park swimming area.

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

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license and catch record card, as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Harvest must be recorded on the angler’s catch record card. 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.

Reason for action: Adult chinook salmon released as juveniles from the net pens just below the Chelan PUD powerhouse are expected to return in sufficient numbers to provide a fishery. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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