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A fairly good spring chinook return is predicted for the Snake River that will provide a sport fishing season to occur on some sections of this pristine eastern Washington stream.

Since the fish are slowly trickling upstream don’t expect this fishery to blossom until later next month, and the best way to track how the run is faring is by watching the dam counts.

The Snake from the South Bound Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upstream about seven miles to the fishing restriction boundary below Ice Harbor Dam will be open this Friday (April 28) until further notice with fishing allowed on Fridays and Saturdays only.

The Snake from Texas Rapids boat launch (south side of river up to Tucannon River mouth) to the fishing restriction boundary below Little Goose Dam will be open starting April 30 until further notice with fishing allowed on Sundays and Mondays only.

This section includes the rock and concrete area between the juvenile bypass return pipe, and Little Goose Dam along the south shoreline of the facility (includes the walkway area locally known as “the Wall” in front of the juvenile collection facility).

In the Clarkston area, the Snake opens April 30 until further notice with fishing allowed on Sundays and Mondays only from the downstream edge of the large power lines crossing the Snake (just up from West Evans Road on the south shore) upriver about 3.5 miles to the Washington state line (from the east levee of the Greenbelt boat launch in Clarkston northwest across the Snake River to the WA/ID boundary waters marker on the Whitman County shore).

The daily limit is six hatchery-marked spring chinook, and only one may be an adult fish. Anglers must stop fishing once they retain their one adult salmon. The minimum size limit for chinook is 12 inches, and a jack salmon is considered a fish under 24 inches long. Anglers must release all wild unmarked spring chinook, bull trout and steelhead,

Those fishing for all species in areas open for spring chinook during the days when the salmon fishery occurs must use barbless hooks. Only single point barbless hooks are allowed when fishing for sturgeon. A night closure is in effect for salmon and sturgeon.

It is illegal to use a hook larger than 5/8 inch (point of hook to shank) when fishing for all species except sturgeon.