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Steelhead fishery re-opens on Columbia's Hanford Reach

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Hanford Reach on the Columbia River Hanford Reach on the Columbia River

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife re-opens fishery for hatchery steelhead as run exceeds minimum quota for conservation-based fishery.

Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery Re-Opens December 8
Action: Open the Columbia River to retention of hatchery steelhead between the Highway 24 Bridge (Vernita Bridge) and Priest Rapids Dam.

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead.

Location: Vernita Bridge (Hwy 24) upstream to Priest Rapids Dam.

Effective Date: Dec. 8, 2010 until further notice.

Other information:

• Daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location. Minimum size is 20 inches.

• Wild steelhead (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

Reason for action: Returns of hatchery and natural-origin summer-run steelhead to the upper Columbia River have far exceeded the run criteria of 9,300 counted over Priest Rapids Dam required to open a conservation-based fishery under the Endangered Species Act.

Information contact: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco), or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license. Check the current WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet or the Fishing section of the WDFW webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing regulations are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500; press 2 for recreational rules; call the Shellfish Rule Change hotline, (360) 796-3215, or toll free 1 (866) 880-5431.


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