FISHING — Anglers picked up enough spring chinook from the Snake River sections open to fishing in Washington over the holiday to prompt the closing of the season, which could be announced soon.
Here's the message from Glen Mendel, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife southeast fisheries biologist:
We saw more interest in fishing the Clarkston area than we had documented in any of the previous weeks, and they caught a few fish there. This fishery remained open after the lower Snake River fisheries closed because they had not caught much earlier, they were cut off early last year so we wanted to improve the sharing of the fishing opportunities, and because there were only about 30 fish left to harvest. One day of either of the lower Snake River fisheries would likely have harvested more than 30 fish in just one day of fishing.
The total Snake River harvest brings us very close to our targeted harvest level, so we are recommending closure of the Snake River fishery at Clarkston. Therefore, we expect that it will be closed for spring Chinook harvest until next year (about late April). Watch for the emergency regulation that verifies closure of this fishery.
Note: Steelhead fishing on the Snake River starts June 16 this year, earlier for retention than in the past.