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Hanford Reach Opens For Sockeye

Hanford Reach to open for sockeye fishing

Actions: Opens sockeye salmon to retention

Effective date:June 28 through Aug. 15, 2016

Species affected: Sockeye salmon.

Area 1: Columbia River from Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Interstate 182 Bridge at Richland near Columbia Point (CRC 534).

Daily Limit: Daily limit of three (3) salmon, of which one (1) may be an adult hatchery chinook and two (2) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Area 2: Columbia River from the Interstate 182 Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam (CRC 535, 536)

Daily Limit: Daily limit of six (6) salmon, of which two (2) may be adult hatchery chinook and three (3) may be sockeye. Release wild adult chinook.

Other information: Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon and must have a current Washington fishing license as well as a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE). Anglers with the Two-Pole Endorsement may fish with two poles, except for sturgeon.

Reason for action: The sockeye run has exceeded the pre-season forecast of 102,000 fish returning to the river mouth. Approximately 240,000 sockeye passed Bonneville Dam through June 26, with the total return now projected to reach 400,000. Barring extreme high water temperatures like those that caused unprecedented pre-spawning mortality in 2015, the spawning needs in the both the Wenatchee and Okanogan rivers should be realized. More than 110,000 sockeye have crossed McNary Dam, allowing a fishery upstream of the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to Priest Rapids Dam.

After the loss of nearly all spawning sockeye in the Okanogan River in 2015, fishery managers are proceeding conservatively until spawning escapements into the Wenatchee and Okanogan Rivers are assured. Provided that water temperatures remain below lethal levels, sockeye seasons above Priest Rapids Dam are likely as the run progresses upriver. Anglers should watch WDFW's for further actions.

Information contacts:John Easterbrooks, Region 3 Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima) or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624 (Ephrata)

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