Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, June 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 51° Clear

Outdoors blog

Tagged salmon must be released on upper Columbia

Don Burks, of Yakima, displays part of his catch, taken over a couple of days at the Brewster Pool. He and many other anglers have been doing better than usual because of the record run of sockeye salmon.  (Jesse Tinsley)
Don Burks, of Yakima, displays part of his catch, taken over a couple of days at the Brewster Pool. He and many other anglers have been doing better than usual because of the record run of sockeye salmon. (Jesse Tinsley)

FISHING -- Starting Friday, all chinook and sockeye salmon with external floy (anchor) tags attached must be immediatly released if caught by anglers in the upper Columbia River system, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced Wednessday.

The rule will be in effect through Oct. 15 on the mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam upstream to the Highway17 Bridge in Bridgeport, including the Similkameen and Okanogan Rivers.

Read on for details.

Reason for action: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is conducting a fish-marking on chinook salmon and the Yakama Nation is marking sockeye salmon to study survival and migration patterns within the Columbia River system. Radio, temperature and acoustic tags will be attached to adult chinook and sockeye, which will be identified by a colored external floy (anchor) tag located near the dorsal fin. The success of these studies is dependent upon the angler’s ability to recognize these tags and to release the fish back into the river as quickly as possible. 

Other information: Signs will be posted at all boat launches with additional information concerning these ongoing studies.  Anglers, upon identifying a tagged fish, are required to release the fish immediately, preferably without removing it from the water.



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.

Follow Rich online:




Go to the full Outdoors page