(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE)
Editor’s note: For more on how to fish for sockeye in the Upper Columbia, see this previous article.)
Sockeye retention allowed above Priest Rapids
on Columbia River, two tributaries, Lake Osoyoos
Action: Anglers will be able to retain adult sockeye salmon in the mainstem Columbia River above Priest Rapids Dam, including the Okanogan and Similkameen Rivers, and Lake Osoyoos.
Species affected: Sockeye salmon
Rule: Daily limit four sockeye. Minimum size 12 inches. All coho and steelhead must be released.
Effective dates and locations:
July 14, through Oct 15, 2011, Columbia River from Hwy 395 Bridge at Pasco to Wells Dam. Anti-snagging and night closure in effect for Rocky Reach Dam to Turtle Rock.
July 16, through Aug 31, 2011, Columbia River from Wells Dam to Hwy 173 Bridge in Brewster.
July 14, through Oct 15, 2011, Columbia River from Hwy 173 Bridge in Brewster to Hwy 17 Bridge in Bridgeport.
July 14, through Oct 15, 2011, Okanogan River from the mouth to Hwy 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth. Anti-snagging and night closure in effect.
July 14, through Sept 15, 2011, Okanogan River from Hwy 97 Bridge immediately upstream of mouth to Hwy 97 Bridge crossing at Oroville. Anti-snagging and night closure in effect.
July 14, through Sept 15, 2011, Similkameen River from the mouth to 400 feet downstream of Enloe Dam. Anti-snagging and night closure in effect.
July 14, through Sept 15, 2011, Lake Osoyoos from Zosel Dam upstream to 300 yards south of the 49th parallel (US-Canadian border, which is marked with large fluorescent orange signs).
Reason for action: Sockeye salmon returns above Priest Rapids Dam are predicted to be well in excess of needs for wild fish escapement to the spawning grounds. The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Important angler note: All sockeye and chinook with a floy (anchor) tag attached must be released. These fish are essential to ongoing studies being conducted by the Yakama Indian Tribe (sockeye) and by WDFW (chinook). Signs will be posted at individual boat launches informing anglers on the study and type of tag that can be expected.
Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement required for ALL sockeye fisheries.