Outdoors blog

Snake spring chinook seasons get off to slow start

Jeff Jarrett of Orofino brings a spring chinook salmon out of the net in the Clearwater River  before sunrise during the Idaho season in 2001. (Rich Landers)
Jeff Jarrett of Orofino brings a spring chinook salmon out of the net in the Clearwater River before sunrise during the Idaho season in 2001. (Rich Landers)

FISHING -- The first of the 2014 spring chinook fishing seasons on the Snake River opened Thursday and others open this week on other Washington stretches and into Idaho.

Nothing to get too worked up about YET... as Glen Mendell, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department biologist points out in this report:

The chinook fishing season started 4/24 for the Little Goose and Clarkston areas (Thursday through Saturday each week); and the Ice Harbor and Lower Granite areas open on Sunday (Sunday through Tuesday each week). 

Opening day on Thursday was windy and rainy with light fishing effort. 

Fish counts are finally hitting over a hundred chinook per day at Little Goose, and over 200 per day at Ice Harbor, but only a few dozen fish per day at Lower Granite Dam. 

A few hatchery chinook were caught and kept Thursday at Little Goose, but no harvest was documented at Clarkston.

A few things to note: 

  1. The north shore just below Lower Granite Dam has a construction project so the US Army Corps has made this area off limits to the public (within the flagged or signed area), shoreline fishing is available downstream, plus along the south shore.  The public can cross Lower Granite Dam seven days per week from 7 AM to 5 PM until Memorial weekend when the hours are extended to 7 PM.
  2. The gate at the wall area along the south shore at Little Goose closes at 5 pm, so the public must leave at that time (opens at 6 AM),
  3. The lower fishing boundary for Clarkston is the western power line crossing the Snake River near West Evans Road (not all the way down to West Evans Road).   
  4. Please check the emergency fishing regulations posted at our agency website.
  5. Also note that once you keep your one adult hatchery Chinook salmon, you must stop fishing for salmon, even without having kept any of the daily limit of jacks. 
  6. Also, you must release steelhead, bull trout, and trout caught in the Snake River.

The harvest target for the Snake River is 904 adult hatchery Chinook until the Columbia River run update in early May.  If the run comes in as predicted another 405 hatchery adults will be available for harvest after the run update.  




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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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