Anglers who catch hatchery steelhead with a hole punched in their tails in the upper Columbia River must release them.
The punch hole serves as a warning that they have been sedated with a chemical anesthetic, MS-222, during sampling at Priest Rapids Dam. They are not safe to eat until three weeks after being anesthetized, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The fish may be toxic if caught from Oct. 1 through Dec. 6 from the blue bridge in Pasco to the wooden power line towers of the old Hanford townsite, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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