Outdoors briefs: Steelhead season to open Sept. 1 on Snake

The Snake River opens for hatchery steelhead retention fishing Sept. 1, and summer steelhead apparently already are returning in large numbers.

"They are already beginning to pass through McNary and Snake River dam fish ladders in increasing numbers," said Paul Hoffarth, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"River temperatures are warm and will likely slow the bite. But as temperatures cool, the steelhead fishing will improve and Tri-Cities area anglers should be in for a terrific early fall fishery," he said.

Barbless hooks are required when fishing in the Snake River for steelhead, he said.

The lower Yakima River from Prosser Dam downstream to the Columbia River also will open for salmon fishing Sept. 1, with a night closure and anti-snagging rules in effect for all species.

Hoffarth said the fall chinook sport fishery in the Hanford Reach is under way and will continue through Oct. 22. Hoffarth says the catch is usually slow until mid-September. Anglers must release all steelhead caught in the Columbia River above the blue bridge.

Vandalism closes Quincy Lakes entrance

QUINCY -- Vandalism has prompted the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to close the south entrance to the Quincy Lakes unit of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area.

The south gate will be closed Monday. The north gate will remain open.

The early closure is the result of gang-related graffiti, garbage dumping and destruction of public property, including toilets, concrete walkways, parking areas and signs, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Vandalism and other illegal activity should be reported to local law enforcers or by calling Fish and Wildlife's Northcentral Region office in Ephrata, 509-754-4624.