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Yakima River To Open For Spring Chinook

Yakima River to open for hatchery spring chinook fishing

Action: Open three sections of the Yakima River to fishing for hatchery spring chinook salmon.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.


  1. The Hwy. 240 Bridge in Richland (river mile 2.1) to the Grant Ave. Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.0), about 1,000 feet downstream of Prosser Dam.
  2. The Wine Country Rd. Bridge in Prosser (river mile 47.3), about 1,300 feet upstream of Prosser Dam, to the State Route 241 (Sunnyside - Mabton Hwy.) Bridge (river mile 59.8).
  3. 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).

Dates: May 18, 2018, until further notice.

Reason for action: Yakama Nation and WDFW fishery managers are forecasting a harvestable return of 2,000 or more adult Cle Elum Hatchery spring chinook to the Yakima River, despite the run timing being late again this year.

Rule information (applies to all three areas):

  • Daily limit of two (2) hatchery chinook.  Minimum size: 12 inches. 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.
  • Terminal Gear: Up to two (2), single-point, barbless hooks with a hook gap from point to shank of 3/4 inch or less. Use of bait is allowed.
  • The use of two (2) fishing poles is permitted during the salmon fishery provided the participating angler has purchased a "Two-Pole Endorsement" (in addition to the freshwater fishing license and Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement). See:

Additional rule for Area A:

  • In Area (1) A., the Yakima River is closed to all fishing from 200 feet downstream to 200 feet upstream of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Chandler Pumping Station (river mile 35.8) for the duration of the salmon fishery.

Additional rules for Area C:

  • Upstream of the Interstate 82 Bridge at Union Gap, the "Selective Gear Rules" prohibiting use of bait and knotted nets is suspended for the duration of the salmon fishery.
  • The upper "closed water" boundary line is moved upstream to the BNSF railroad bridge downstream of Roza Dam to provide additional opportunity to harvest hatchery chinook salmon.
  • Night closure in effect. Harvest of all game fish, such as trout, whitefish, etc., remains closed until Saturday, June 2.
  • Fishing from boats equipped with an internal combustion motor (ICM) is allowed only from the I-82 Bridge at Union Gap to the eastbound (upstream) I-82 bridge at Selah Gap.  Boats with an ICM may be used for transportation only upstream of the Selah Gap bridge.
  • Closed to fishing for all species 400 feet upstream from the upstream side of the Yakima Ave. /Terrace Heights Rd. bridge in Yakima, including the area adjacent and downstream of the Roza Wasteway No. 2 fish barrier rack next to Morton & Sons Inc.

Information contacts:  Marc Divens, District 8 fish biologist, (509) 457-9301 (Yakima); Paul Hoffarth, District 4 fish biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco)

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