Latest from The Spokesman-Review
FISHING — Here's the latest forecast for a niche of the Columbia River spring chinook run popular with anglers:
FISHING — Wow, we barely got the notice out that the Icicle River was closing to spring chinook fishing before fish managers changed their mind. Here's the notice just posted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:
FISHING — The Icicle River's fishing season for spring chinook salmon closes today an hour after sunset.
Read on for the details pertaining the closure of the Chelan County fishery from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
FISHING — Starting Saturday, anglers will be able to catch fin-clipped spring chinook in the Icicle River, according to season announcement just issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Read on for all the details.
FISHING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has announced steelhead fishing will open on the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers on Friday along with fishing for whitefish on the Wenatchee. Following are details from the just-issued WDFW announcement.
Actions:Open the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers on Feb. 8 to fishing for steelhead. In addition, the Wenatchee River will open Feb. 8 to fishing for whitefish.
Species affected: Steelhead and whitefish.
Fishing area locations and effective dates:
Areas that will open to fishing for steelhead one hour before sunrise on Feb. 8 until further notice include:
- Wenatchee River:From the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
Areas that will open to fishing for whitefish one hour before sunrise on Feb. 8 until further notice include:
- Wenatchee River:From the mouth to the Highway 2 bridge at Leavenworth.
Reason for changes: Recent analyses of the ongoing steelhead fisheries in portions of the upper Columbia River have revealed sufficient impacts to natural origin steelhead still remain under the NOAA-issued ESA section 10 permit. Re-opening steelhead fisheries in both the Wenatchee and Icicle Rivers will help to reduce the proportion of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds, where their offspring may compete with natural origin juvenile salmon. Opening these areas to steelhead angling also allows whitefish angling opportunity.
Areas that will continue to be closed for steelhead and whitefish angling until further notice include:
- Mainstem Columbia River: From Wells Dam to the Highway 173 bridge at Brewster.
- Entiat River: Upstream from the Alternate Highway 97 Bridge near the mouth of the Entiat River to 800 feet downstream of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery.
- Methow River:From the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop.
General rules for all locations open to steelhead fishing:
- Mandatory retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead, daily limit two (2) hatchery steelhead, 20 inch minimum size. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location.
- Adipose present steelhead must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
- Night closure and selective gear rules remain in effect.
- Whitefish anglers must follow selective gear rules in areas open to steelhead fishing, no bait is allowed
Other angler information:
Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead. Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish.
Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license.
FISHING – Starting Tuesday (Oct. 16), hatchery steelhead fisheries will open on the mainstem upper Columbia, Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan rivers, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.
In addition, the Similkameen River will open to hatchery steelhead retention beginning Nov. 1.
All of these fisheries will remain open until further notice.
Jeff Korth, regional fish manager for WDFW, said approximately 18,000 adult steelhead are expected to return to the upper Columbia River this year – enough to allow the department to open area steelhead fisheries.
However, wild steelhead are expected to return in lower numbers than last year, requiring additional constraints on those fisheries.
“We carefully manage these fisheries to protect naturally spawning steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act,” Korth said. “These fisheries traditionally remain open through the winter, but with lower numbers of wild steelhead and tighter allowable impacts on those fish we may have to close early.”
Korth said anglers should check WDFW’s website throughout the season for any regulation changes.
Read on for details about the fish you can and cannot keep, and specifically where fishing is allowed.
FISHING — Jeff Holmes of the Tri-Cities photographed this nice catch — a couple of nice catches, actually — while moonlight fishing for steelhead Saturday on a Snake River middle impoundment with his wife, Erika.
One of many fish the Holmes's caught and released this weekend, this bright B-run hen wen 29.5 inches — and into the cooler.
SALMON FISHING — The spring chinook salmon fishing season on the Icicle River in Chelan County will open Saturday (May 19), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this afternoon.
The closing date, subject to change, is July 31.
Daily limit: Daily limit two salmon, minimum size 12 inches.
Location: Icicle River, from the closure signs located 800 feet upstream of the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
Read on for details.
FISHING – Starting Friday (March 16), selective fisheries for hatchery-reared steelhead on the Wenatchee, Icicle, and Methow rivers will temporarily reopen, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced this afternoon.
Anglers will be allowed to catch whitefish in the Wenatchee and Methow rivers so long as those rivers are open to steelhead fishing.
Steelhead fisheries in all three rivers are tentatively scheduled to run through March 31, but could end sooner if fishing impacts on wild steelhead reach annual federal limits, said Jeff Korth, regional WDFW fish manager.
“These limited openings are designed to support wild-steelhead recovery by reducing the number of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds,” Korth said. “Anglers can play an important role in that effort by removing hatchery fish not needed to meet spawning goals.”
Because the fisheries could close on short notice, Korth recommends that anglers check the department’s Fishing Hotline at (360-902-2500) or Fishing Rule website for updates.
The Similkameen and Okanogan rivers will remain open for steelhead fishing, although sections of the Okanogan River around the mouth of Omak and Tonasket creeks will close to all fishing Friday to protect wild steelhead staging for spawning.
Read on for more details.
SALMON FISHING — With a strong run of coho moving up the Columbia, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has announced a coho fishing season that starts Wednesday (Oct. 5) on the Wenatchee, Methow and Icicle rivers, expanding fishing opportunities already under way in those waters.
Predicting a strong return of coho to the upper Columbia River system, state fishery managers scheduled coho fisheries through Oct. 31 on all three rivers.
Read on for the details.
SALMON FISHING — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has just announced the following bulletin on spring chinook salmon seasons:
The Icicle River will open to spring chinook salmon fishing on Saturday with a season that could run through July 31.
Ringold bank fishing for spring chinook on the Columbia River will close Friday at 9 p.m.
Read on for the details of each announcement.