Outdoors

FISHING: Portion of Yakima River closed to salmon fishing

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today the closure of a 21-mile section of the Yakima River bordering the Yakama Nation Reservation to non-tribal fishing for fall chinook and coho salmon.

The closure -- from the Highway 223 bridge (at Granger) upstream to Sunnyside (Parker) Dam -- runs through Oct. 22. Species affected are fall chinook and coho salmon (both hatchery and wild).

The Yakama Nation has federally reserved exclusive fishing rights on waters that border its reservation. At this time, the Yakama Nation has not waived their exclusive fishing rights that would allow the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to open a non-tribal sport fishery on boundary waters of the Yakima River. As a result, WDFW is closing the state's sport fishery on the 21-mile section of the Yakima River that borders the Yakama Nation Reservation.

The sport fishery for fall chinook and coho salmon remains open through Oct. 22 in the river reach between the Highway 240 bridge at Richland and Prosser Dam, which is downstream of the Yakama Reservation boundary.

Fishing for steelhead remains closed. All steelhead must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

For more information, contact John Easterbrooks, the regional Fish Program Manager in Yakima, at 509-457-9330.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations.

Fishing regulations are subject to change. Call the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules or check the WDFW webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm for details on fishing seasons and regulations.

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