Wenatchee River To Open For Summer Chinook

Editor’s note: Just got this advice on the fishery from the well-known local outdoor writer Dave Graybill, the Fishin’ Magician: “Due to the selective fishing reg on the Wenatchee, I would suggest M2 or Mag Lip FlatFish in deep holes. The first riffle should have fish stacked in it. Shore anglers could cast large (spinners).”

When was the last time the Wenatchee was open for summer Chinook?

That’s a damned good question.

Never mind getting ahold of the state biologists listed in WDFW’s e-reg notice for an answer — one’s out of the office till Monday (so why is his name listed as a contact?!?!) and the other is a bizzy boy with a weird telephone.

One source at Hooked on Toys in the town of Wenatchee says he’s never heard of the Chelan County river opening for the salmon.

Another source there wasn’t sure, and the shop’s Mr. Knows Everything About Local Fishing was out, well, fishing and unavailable by cell phone.

But history is a trifling detail anyway, what you want to know, my friend, is how to fish the 17 miles of river from 400 feet downstream of Dryden Dam to the mouth when it opens Monday, Aug. 1.

“I’m going to tell them to fish it the same way as other summer Chinook rivers: with big spinners,” says Peter at Hooked.

Because it’s under selective gear rules, that means fishing “big spinners with single barbless hooks” as well as big plugs sans bait wraps, maybe a Mag Lip.

WDFW is able to open the fishery for hatchery Chinook retention because the agency is predicting the run will come in in “excess of spawning escapement needs,” the stock isn’t listed under ESA, springers and bull trout will mostly be in the upper river, and there won’t be many steelhead in the mainstem.

SUMMER CHINOOK LIKE THE LEFT FISH, CAUGHT YESTERDAY NEAR THE MOUTH OF THE WENATCHEE, WILL BE AVAILABLE WHEN THE LOWER PART OF THE MIDDLE COLUMBIA RIVER TRIB OPENS AUG. 1. LOCAL ANGLER SCOTT FLETCHER WAS TROLLING A CUT-PLUG HERRING BEHIND A CHROME DODGER. (WRIGHT & MCGILL/EAGLE CLAW PHOTO CONTEST)

More details on the opening are as follows:

Action:  Anglers will be able to fish for and retain adipose-fin-clipped adult and jack summer chinook salmon in the lower mainstem Wenatchee River beginning Aug. 1.

Rule:  Daily limit of two adipose fin clipped summer chinook (adult or jack).  All other fish must be released. Selective gear rules and night closure in effect.

Effective dates and locations:

(1)  Aug. 1, through Oct. 15, 2011, Wenatchee River from the mouth (confluence with the Columbia River) to 400 feet below Dryden Dam.

(2)  Sept. 1, through Oct. 15, 2011, Wenatchee River from the confluence of Peshastin Creek to a line perpendicular to the river at a marker on the opposite shore (approximately 1,000 feet above Dryden Dam) to the Icicle Creek road bridge on the west end of Leavenworth.

Species affected:  Summer run c hinook salmon

Reason for action: Hatchery summer chinook returns to the Wenatchee River are predicted to be in excess of spawning escapement needs.  The population is not listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The majority of spring chinook and bull trout will have migrated to the upper Wenatchee River, and few steelhead will remain in the mainstem.

Important angler note:  All chinook with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or caudal punch must be released. These fish are essential to ongoing studies being conducted by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license in addition to a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement Stamp.

No boats with motors (Chelan Co ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions) .

Information contact: Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, Twisp, (509) 997-0316; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, Ephrata, (509) 754-4624

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3 Responses to “Wenatchee River To Open For Summer Chinook”

  1. Stuart Hurd Says:

    Trips available starting August 1st.
    Hurd’s Guide Service
    509-679-1304

  2. Stuart Says:

    Barbless hooks only. Cannot remove adipose present fish from water. From shore- limited access. Cast spoons, spinners, or plunk spin’n’glows infront of superbaits. No bait or scent allowed. From boat kwik fish, plugs, etc. Water is high. Watch for rocks, logs, etc. Know what sides of river islands to go around. Or call 509-679-1304 to book a trip to learn how to catch and drift down the river from boat.

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