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Saturday, February 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Low flows, slow fishing mark Yakima springer opener

Spring chinook salmon are prized for table quality.  (File / The Spokesman-Review)
Spring chinook salmon are prized for table quality. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHING -- Wishing was slow for lower Yakima River anglers out last weekend for the May 2 opening of spring chinook fishing.

Flows averaged 1,800cfs and fishing was slow for both salmon and bass, said Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist. 

Here's the rest of his Yakima River report:

WDFW staff interviewed 79 anglers fishing for salmon in the lower Yakima River that reported one hatchery adult chinook harvested and one wild adult chinook released.  An additional 24 anglers were interviewed that were fishing for smallmouth bass and channel catfish that reported 15 smallmouth bass caught. 

The lower Yakima River from the Highway 240 bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) to the Grant Avenue bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0) opened to fishing for hatchery spring Chinook on May 2.  The fishery will remain open through June 15.

A second section of the Yakima River from the Interstate 82 bridge at Union Gap (river mile 107.1) to the BNSF railroad bridge approximately 600 feet downstream of Roza Dam (river mile 127.8) will open on May 9.  Daily limit is two hatchery chinook, minimum size of 12 inches.  Terminal gear is restricted to two, single-point, barbless hooks when fishing for salmon. Use of bait is allowed. Anglers must have the Columbia River salmon/steelhead endorsement in addition to a freshwater fishing license to fish for salmon in the Yakima River.  The use of two fishing poles is permitted during the salmon fishery provided the participating angler has purchased a “Two-Pole Endorsement.” 

Hatchery salmon are identified by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin.  Wild salmon (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.



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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