Changes to fishing regulations in the Mid-Columbia for fall chinook and other species have been announced by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.
-- The fall chinook season will open early in the Priest Rapids Pool from the Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.
The season opens one hour before sunrise Saturday to coincide with the holiday weekend. Daily limit is six chinook with up to two adults retained. Only barbless hooks may be used.
-- Fishing for hatchery fall chinook will be allowed in the Snake River this year Saturday through Oct. 31.
Fishing waters include the Columbia River from the railroad bridge between Burbank and Kennewick upstream about 2.1 miles to the first power line crossing upstream of the navigation light on the point of Sacajawea State Park and on the Snake from the Columbia confluence to the Oregon state line.
The limit is six adipose fin-clipped fall chinook adults, which are 24 inches or longer, and six adipose fin-clipped jack fall chinook, which are 12 inches to 24 inches long.
The catch of hatchery fish is being allowed because the 2014 Columbia forecasted return of upriver bright adults is 919,000 adult, with a significant proportion expected to return to the Snake.
-- Tucannon River fishery regulations for steelhead and other game fish have been changed to provide more protection for naturally produced steelhead in the river.
A new boundary description has been adopted for the definition of the mouth of the river.
Waters of the Tucannon include south of the line of sight from an orange diamond-shaped sign attached to the Highway 261 guard rail (northwest of the Tucannon and just downstream from the rest area turnoff) running southeast across to the eastern unsubmerged shoreline of the Tucannon, which is the point of the land spit. The large embayment between the eastern shoreline of the Tucannon and the rock bluff to the east along the south shore of the Snake River is considered part of the Snake.
The Tucannon River is closed to fishing from Marengo at the Turner Road Bridge upstream.
All steelhead landed in the Tucannon River with a missing adipose fin, indicating they are hatchery fish, must be retained. Wild steelhead must be released. The limit is two hatchery steelhead per day. Barbless hooks are required.