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Steelhead fishing to remain open in the Snake River


November 21, 2018

Steelhead fishing on the Snake River and tributaries will remain open in Washington despite a statewide steelhead fishery closure next month in neighboring Idaho, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said last week.

The Snake River serves as a shared boundary water between Idaho and Washington from Clarkston upstream to the Oregon border. This stretch of the Snake River will still be open to fishing for steelhead after Idaho closes Dec. 7. All anglers fishing for steelhead in this portion of the Snake River will be required to possess a Washington fishing license and catch record card if they are fishing for steelhead.

Idaho is closing its steelhead fishery in response to a threatened lawsuit from six environmental organizations over an administrative oversight. Idaho’s Endangered Species Act fishery permitting, which is required to recreationally fish in areas where there are threatened or endangered steelhead, is pending with the federal government.

Chris Donley, regional fish program manager for WDFW, said that Washington’s ESA fishery permitting is current and the state is meeting its conservation objectives under those permits.

“We’ve taken a number of conservation actions to protect steelhead this year,” Donley said.

For example, in August WDFW closed sections of the mainstem Columbia River to steelhead fishing to protect steelhead runs returning to the Snake River, the largest tributary of the Columbia. The department also reduced the daily catch limit for steelhead to one hatchery fish on the Snake River.

For more information on regulations, anglers should check Washington’s 2018-19 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet and emergency rules website at

Fish Black Friday for big rainbow trout

The WDFW is offering anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.

The “holiday specials” include thousands of large trout averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing up to three pounds.

The department is currently preparing to stock lakes in time for Black Friday, Nov. 23.

Additionally, the department stocks millions of smaller trout each spring, many of which will have grown to catchable size.

“This is a great reason to avoid holiday shopping a little longer and enjoy a fun day on the water with family and friends,” said Steve Caromile, WDFW warmwater fish program manager.

Some of the lakes scheduled to receive fish before Black Friday include:

• Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County

• Kress Lake in Cowlitz County

• Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County

• American and Tanwax Lake in Pierce County

• Black, Long, and Offut lakes in Thurston County

• Rowland Lake in Klickitat County

• North Elton Pond in Yakima County

• Cases Pond in Pacific County

Additionally, the following lakes on the eastside have been stocked with fry plants in recent years and promise great fishing for Black Friday: Hatch and Williams lakes in Stevens County; Fourth of July Lake in Lincoln and Adams counties; and Hog Canyon Lake in Spokane County.

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, accessible from, or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at

Anglers 15 years and older must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2019, to participate.

Licenses can be purchased by telephone at 1-866-246-9453, at, or at hundreds of license vendors across the state.

For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at


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