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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Snake River at Clarkston may not get salmon season

By Eric Barker Lewiston Tribune

Washington will open spring chinook salmon fishing this year, but the Snake River near Clarkston is not likely to be in the mix

Instead, fishing will likely be held near Little Goose Dam, and below Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. There is a decent chance for a season between Casey Creek and Lower Granite Dam and a slim chance salmon fishing could be allowed on a portion of the Tucannon River.

A microscopic chance lingers for a season on the Snake River above Lower Granite Dam, but Glen Mendel, district fish biologist at Dayton, said the odds are against it.

At least until next year, Washington won’t have an Endangered Species Act permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service to hold chinook salmon fishing seasons above Lower Granite Dam. So any season on the Snake River above the dam this year would have to be in conjunction with Idaho, where fisheries managers are leery of allowing salmon fishing on the Lower Snake River because it could limit their ability to open seasons in other places, such as the upper Salmon River.

A return of 2,200 hatchery chinook appears to be headed to the Tucannon River, Mendel said. A fishing season could be held there but because the state lacks a federal permit, it is not likely to happen this year even though the predicted return is much larger than anything the area has seen in 30 years, Mendel said.

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